Sunday, September 30, 2018

9/30 Plymouth Park, Umitilla, WA

Not much going on with my life lately, so not many postings or photos. It is a nice, quiet time of year, so I have been lazing around, not doing a whole lot, other than prepping things for the online class I teach and doing to cleaning and sorting of stuff.  

After 10 days at LePage Park again, I headed east to Plymouth Park, another Corps of Engineering (COE) campground along the Columbia River, except this one is on the north side of the river and in Washington instead of Oregon.  This part of Washington and Oregon is normally very hot because it is in the rain shadow of the mountains further west along the Columbia.  But in fall and spring, it is extremely nice, with highs in the 70s and nighttime lows around 45-50.  In addition, there is not much smoke right now, and rains are due soon.  There has already been a few sprinkles here and there, but the winter rains will really soak these places, and they badly need rain to prevent winter fires.  

This campground is only about 90 miles east of LePage, and like all the COE campground near a dam.   As you can see, as you drive east, the land flattens down a bit, but there are still hills covered with grass and scrub. 

There are also still big patches of burned areas.  

The campground is down towards the river, but on a lake that was formed by the river, so there is no view of the river itself.  No stores either. 

But there is a very busy train track.  Trains do not bother me even if they are fairly often. 

During the week, the campground has been fairly quiet and empty.  It is a popular spot for people looking for a quiet, cheap place as they head east or west, so a few campers do show up in late afternoon and stay for only one night.  There are no roads nearby and nothing to really bother you other than the distant rumble of the trains, so one very nice couple from Tennessee and another from Colorado I chatted with stayed several days longer than they had planned to.  

I found this place about three years ago and liked that if I got the right site, I could get both satellite TV and good internet access from Verizon. Being a COE campground, the roads are in good shape and sites are paved.  Normally, each site would have electric, water, and sewer hookups, but their sewer system is down and will be for several months, but they had called me a couple of weeks ago to let me know.  I just have to drive about three miles every few days to dump my tanks at a nearby marina. 

On Wednesday, I am headed down south, through John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.  I decided I was getting tired of making the same drives so decided to do some exploring on my way to Bend, Oregon, where I will be at the end of the week. 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

9/18 Maryhill Art Museum

I was here about 15 years ago, but decided it was worth a second trip.  This art museum was built as a home in 1907 but was never lived in.  It is prominently situated on the north side of the Columbia River on a high bluff overlooking the river.  Even if you do not like art, it is worth a trip here to just look at the river from this height.  The first photo is looking east along the river and the second looks west.

 Lewis and Clark passed here and recorded it in their journals.

 And the diagonal road on the opposite side of the river is a section of the Oregon Trail!

This is the museum itself.  

Strangely, the owner of the home, Sam Hill, was a friend of Marie, who was the Queen of Romania and a grand-daughter of Queen Victoria!  She traveled widely and came here for the 1926 dedication of the museum. This entrance floor room is filled with things she owned and donated.  

Who would think that on an isolated bluff along the Columbia River, you could find a gown worn at the coronation of the Tsar of Russia and King Edward VII of England? The angle of this photo is not ideal, but there were a lot of reflections from windows, so it was the best I could do. The train must have been 20' long.

Wedding gifts to then Princess Marie. 

 Some items made by Faberge that belonged to Queen Marie.

A replica of her crown.  The original was destroyed so she commissioned this one in gilt silver instead of gold, like the original. 

And this is a locket given to her for her first birthday by Queen Victoria of Great Britain. 

And in the basement is a collection of works by Rodin, who also was a friend of Sam Hill. 

There is also an Northwest Indian collection. I took only a few photos of things I found interesting. 


These "woven bottles" were made for sale to tourists, but I was impressed with the fineness of the work.

And these baskets were only about 4" wide, so the weaving is very fine on these also. 

 Some Eskimo masks and baskets.

This is a waterproof jacket made from seal intestines. 

And a bow drill.

 These are desert Indian items.

I have a very small image similar to this one. It is a storyteller, and can be identified by all the children who have climbed on the person to hear the stories!  

I thought this war club from California was interesting. 

 Headed back to my motorhome.  There are several very pleasant benches to sit on, so I took advantage of one and made a phone call, as the service was good up here.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

9/13 Multnomah Falls, Columbia Gorge, OR

I had driven past here twice before in August, but I decided at the time that it was too hot and there were too many people traveling then to bother stopping.  So, here in cooler and less busy September, I am back and this time, I stopped.

There is a large parking lot in the median of I-84, which is the major freeway that follows the south shore of the Columbia River in Oregon.  You go underneath the eastbound side of the freeway and then underneath a railroad bridge.

This is an old bridge.  Check out the closer view of the sign below.

I was pleasantly surprised to see this visitor center and restaurant.  Way back when, before the freeway was built, the road ran directly in front of this building.  The old road is now closed and the parking lot used only by employees. 

 There are actually two falls here.  The taller upper falls dumps into a large pool, which then overflows and produces the lower falls.  I did not hike up to the bridge, but a sign said that a bridal party was once standing on the bridge having their pictures taken when a chunk of rock the size of a large bus fell off the cliff into the pool, creating an enormous splash that soaked everyone.

A closer view of the lower falls.

 This whole area is part of the national scenic area. There have been a lot of fires in this area in the last few years.

In fact, the big fire from last year came up very close to the falls, as you can see from this photo.