Portland Oregon to Clarkston Washington, via I-84, Rt 14, and Rt 12

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Questions that occur to the traveler:

Why do we ever leave home? Getting ready to leave, we clean the house, the desks, the studio, tidy everything, vacuum and dust and put things away, take piles to Good Will — in short, the house looks wonderful. So why leave it?

Why — so we can come back to it with fuller appreciation of its charms, of course.

Why does the Mighty Columbia always seem so much bigger in eastern Oregon and Washington and so much more powerful?

How does a museum like Maryhill, full of kitsch and wonders, survive and thrive? And can I have an exhibit there?

[New wing of Maryhill Museum -- patio with dragon]

Why is the sky so much bigger in eastern Oregon and Washington and why do I feel blind a lot of the time?

How can I avoid hat hair when hats are the only thing the keep me from being completely blind?

Why are the wind farms so fascinating, so beautiful to look at, so dizzifying to watch? Is it the blue of the sky and the gold of the hills that makes them enchanting? Or their movements like dancers?

Who decides on those historic markers along the roadside? Is there a list of them hidden away in Govt. archives somewhere? Are they spaced carefully or placed randomly? Are they state-decisions or somehow regulated by the feds?

[Chief Temuut'su (Timothy)'s Bridge, a 1923 dedication to a Nez Perce chief of the Alpowa Band. This must have been old route 12; you can see the new bridge through the arch.]

How can my partner of 49 years and myself get into an argument about carrots, an argument only completed when we both get to giggling (well, I giggled and jer grinned)? To be continued --June

11 Responses to “Portland Oregon to Clarkston Washington, via I-84, Rt 14, and Rt 12”

  1. Kate Y. Says:

    Apropos of roadside historical markers, see if you can lay your hands on a copy of James Loewen’s “Lies Across America”. Discouraging but reccommended!

  2. Lia Says:

    June– maybe you’ve already discovered it, but here’s an *interactive map* of the historical markers in WA! They seem to be tied to the DOT (which makes me wonder if there might be other, non-DOT markers that are not listed here…)
    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/localprograms/scenicbyways/markers.htm
    Now you’ll be wanting this for Idaho and Montana next, I suppose. ;)

    • june Says:

      Lia!! We are in Montana. Hurry up, We need more info. Although Montana does go on a bit and we are not very far from the Idaho border, so you probably have time. If my computer connection keeps working, I’ll look up your link. If not, then tomorrow. I should have known all I had to do was ask.

      Now can you get me that exhibit at Maryhill?

      • Lia Says:

        Okay– this is kind of amazing, but there’s actually a whole database for historical markers! http://www.hmdb.org
        Enter Montana in the search box on the right. They also have apps for smartphones and GPS units (lower middle of the homepage). Whodathunk?? I’m working on the Maryhill thing… ;)

    • june Says:

      Good grief. I asked jer, wikipedian discoverer of arcane databases extraordinaire, and he just poohed poohed it. (Of course he was in his chauffeur uniform at the time). I should have know to ask a librarian. Now, I’ll just be awaiting the Maryhill thingie:-)

  3. Diane Says:

    Since it seems hat hair has been dealt with most efficiently, I will ask: Why are those hills striped?

    • june Says:

      So glad you noticed. This is, I think, something called “The Palouse” which is a high table land where they grow grains and hay by the mile. It’s haying and wheat harvesting season (I don’t actually recognize anything but hay and wheat) so the stripes are where first they’ve cut the hay/wheat, and then where they’ve harrowed it a bit — different colors for the different plants as well as different colors for the different stages. The stripes were precisely what i was trying to photograph out the dirty car windows. So glad you noticed:-)

  4. Olga Says:

    So so sensible to prepare for your return. I found it dispiriting and deflating to return home to a messy house after a working trip abroad.

    Isn’t it fascinating how wow-able we become once we set off on a trip. Familiarity rubs down so many edges.

    Once upon a time I had a visor which pushed onto my head like glasses, above my ears. If such things still exist, it would deal with hat hair. I used to love it because I hate wearing hats – gotta have that wind in my hair !!

    I’m with you on wind farms.

    So much more fun arguing about the ridiculous – much more worthwhile than arguing about something serious.

    • june Says:

      Darn, I have one of those visor things at home — probably bought it last time I didn’t want hat hair. The dry climate contributes to the straw hair-do; I could simply refuse to ever take my ball cap off. But I look funny in hats:-) I’m not even thinking about my desert hat, which is a bit like a sunbonnet with a cape.

      The trip today was a wow all the way, until we reached Lolo Pass at which time we wanted to stop. It wasn’t too far to Missoula, (where we did stop — short of our friend’s in Basin), but at the very moment when we started to thinking about whining. Jer said, “this is a very big continent.” which made me laugh.

      But he then remembered where a good motel is in Missoula, remembered how to get there in counter-intuitive ways, so that cheered him up. He had first dibs on whining today; the cat’s rule is that if the first person has to whine before the second one is allowed to do so. It’s an effective travel rule because it leads to giggling (or grinning).

  5. Del Thomas Says:

    The only solution to the hat hair problem is to wear a hat ALL of the time (even in bed when it is cold) or to not worry about hat hair. Take your hat off, run your fingers through your hair a la Rita Hayworth and smile. The voice of about 35 years of experience.

    • june Says:

      Hard to run my finger through my hair when it’s like tangled straw. On the other hand, I look like a native — wild woman type. I’ve taken to perching the hat on my head, unless I really need it, in which case, I stop giving a damn — um, darn.

      I’m averse to wearing it to bed, so I’ll have to not give a you-know-what:-) I’ll channel Rita and look nonchalant.

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