We are starting off on HWY 84 towards North Powder. There we take Scenic Byway 73 to Elkhorn Summit, a ski- and winter vacation resort up on over 7,000 feet. It is still cold (about 54 Fahrenheit) and the lakes still have a thin layer of ice in shady corners. We see some deer, very few though, a fox and lots of squirrels. Scenic Byway 52 gets us down through the forest to a very small village called Ukiah. We wonder how people make a living here and how they can live in such a remote place. Scenic Byways 53 and 74 get us to the Columbia River after about 200 miles.
We are surprised how dry the area is. Since we came down from the mountains the landscape became more and more dry and even here at the river the grass is yellow and there are hardly any trees.
At Biggs we take the bridge over to the Washington side of the river. This road is not a HWY and allows us to stop where we feel like, so we don’t have to rely on the given rest areas. We are passing at least 3 dams and a whole bunch of wind mills. The closer we get to Portland the greener it gets the more trees there are. The whole drive along the Columbia River is about 170 miles – a beautiful and very scenic route!
Overnight Stay: Travelodge, Troutdale, OR
Dinner: Eatery, next door to the motel
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