Posts Tagged ‘river’
Posted on July 7, 2010 - by Nadia
Day 34: July 7, 2010
Walla Walla to Crow Butte State Park, Washington
Concerned about wind and traffic along the Columbia River, I got an early start and was happy that neither fear was realized. Traffic was very light along Hwy 12 from Walla Walla to Umatilla, and not much heavier along Hwy 14 in Washington. I spent my time on the Interstate bridge crossing at Umatilla wondering how I was supposed to have gotten on that nice bike path, but survived the crossing on the shoulder of the vehicle lanes. The wind, don’t say it out loud, it’ll jinx me for tomorrow, but the wind … was at my back. I covered the first 60 miles by lunch time, holding steady at 20 mph for long stretches. It almost felt like I was biking instead of hauling.
Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Fish. Nothing. Nothing. Fish. Nothing. Fish. Fish. I wish I knew what kind of fish I was seeing on the close circuit fish cam on the fish ladder at the dam at Umatilla. They turn a corner, look dazed and are gone, headed up stream. I like to think that among them are salmon intent on spawning in Redfish Lake outside of Stanley, Idaho. Based on early counts down here, they were already expecting a banner year up there. It is amazing to see the obstacles we’ve put in the way of salmon, amazing to know that any of them respond to the urge to get back home with such vigor that they find a way around.
So, these two salmon were swimming along, headed up stream and one ran into a cement wall. “Dam,” she said
Layers upon layers
Onion prices will hold steady until September, then they’re likely to drop. Onions shipping now have over wintered, they’re good, but they could turn any day. That’s just the kind of onions they are. Such is the wisdom – minus routine profanity — gleaned at a cinderblock bar, restaurant and convenience store at the end of a work day in Paterson, Washington. Biking along the Columbia, I dodged the occasional onion in the shoulder, escapees from the business of feeding the world.
Long, long trains of Powder River coal roll along the far shore of the river, headed west full, headed east empty. As I sit in my tent listening to them across the inlet that is the feature attraction of this park I am reminded of past experiences sleeping along this river: Trucks, trains and frogs all make for a loud night.
From a bike, the Columbia is an ocean threading between the dry cliffs of continents adrift. Swinging around the corner as Hwy 12 turned into Hwy 730, the river unfolded into yet another of the many, “Oh wow,” moments of this trip.
Some like it hot
Not matter how cool and refreshing the label on the bottle, grapes like their days hot and dry. They got their wish today as temperatures broke 100 on the highway. I thought it was a little cruel of Canoe Ridge wineries to flash their label at me. It wasn’t the first time on this trip I’ve had to tell myself, you can paddle in August, though as it’s going, I’ll be able to squeeze a float into
July as well.