Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Out of the mountains

Breakfast in the local cafe, then away.  I still needed to modify the dolly used to load/unload the aircraft, since I had changed to the wider tailwheel.  The pole, and heavy lifting, I had been using was just too much for an aging back....  So stopped in the next little town, Kamiah, to ask if there was a small welding shop around.  Got sent to S&S Welding and Fabrication, a one-man shop, and just the right man for the job.  He quickly took an interest in the problem, and we soon agreed on a solution.  He has a well-equipped shop and soon had it done, exactly right!

Lewis and Clark crossed this range on the ridges with horses, 
cause the river is too shallow for canoes, 
and the banks of the river are too rough and tangled for foot. 
This about the longest straightaway on the road, then continuous winding curves.
Not fun towing on such a road, just trying to stay between the yellow and white lines.....

A hot day and a couple of days since a shower,
so this was just too inviting.

The Clearwater River got wider and deeper, until Lewis and Clark could once again build canoes, and float downstream instead of battling upstream and then over mountain ridges.  It must have seemed like the home stretch to them, but more rapids to come....

Once out of the mountains the country changed to high rolling hills, dryland wheat crops of enormous acreage....  Then changed quickly to vineyards of thousands of acres as soon as irrigation water was available.

Coming into Pasco, Washington, the whole pace of life changed, to heavy industry and railyards, and busy freeways, such a change from those empty roads back in the mountains.....  Pushed on to Yakima, and now camped in the Walmart parking lot so I can get internet signal.  It's Friday evening, and the Walmart is full of Latinos, I assume they're the workers who pick all those grapes.

As I neared Yakima, I remembered that I had been here in 1960, on one of my first roadtrips.  I had a VW beetle, and had removed the passenger seat and made a good bed in there.  I was working shift work at the local telephone company in Edmonton, Alberta, and with the rotating shifts, got 5 days off together every month.  Then I would head out and go as far as I could in the time.  Fuel cost 38 cents a gallon, and the VW gave 38 miles per gallon (Imp. gal.), so it was affordable to just drive all day.....
I guess I've never really stopped since.....

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