2016 Jan 12 – Day 2 – California and Beyond

Day 2 – Jan 12 – Omak, Wa to Madras, OR

We did quite well and were on the road by 9:30 this morning.  It was definitely a weather day. We had cloud, rain, fog and snow – repeated several times.  But all in all the road was pretty good.  The worst section was going over Toppenish Ridge through Satus Pass.

Unfortunately several of the things I had marked down to go see were closed, but that wasn’t really surprising since it is the middle of winter.

Just outside of Monce, south of Omak we came across this cluster of huge radio/satellite dishes on the top of a ridge.  They were located at the end of the largest orchard I have ever seen.  The hillside above the river for  over  a mile was covered with apple trees.  We drove through orchards for quite a long time between Omak and Yakima.   The Yakima valley is also wine country so we passed lots of vineyards.

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Not too far down the road from there was the Chief Joseph Dam.  We had stopped here on a previous trip and the view point was closed anyway – and there was a very biting wind blowing –  so I just snapped a couple of shots as we went by.

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I love this shot.  It looks like a mono-chrome.



We hadn’t driven too far down the road and John spotted a small group of deer beside the road.  I was able to get my camera up quick enough to catch part of this one running up the hill.  A quarter mile further along there were two more deer watching us go by.



And then everything around us became very white….IMG_3954IMG_3952

We stopped at Dry Falls and braved the cold wind long enough to get some photos. The falls were the largest falls on earth in the last ice age.

IMG_3960 IMG_3974 IMG_3975 IMG_3961 IMG_3999 IMG_4002 3987We traveled along the coast of Lenore Lake.  We had actually come this way in hopes of  seeing the Lava Caves in this area but no luck.  They were closed for the season.  There are lava tube caves you can walk through for about a mile.  That would have been pretty cool – in both senses of the word.  John pulled off the road and took a couple of photos of the gigantic icicles clinging to the cliff above these houses.

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IMG_4011 IMG_4013As we approached the junction of the I90 near Ellensburg we passed through an area that was obviously a favorite lunch spot for hawks.  I think we saw about 20 hawks in 15 miles.  I wasn’t able to get a good photo of one but I caught this heron standing in a field.

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We have a game at home called The Farming Game.  It was created by a farmer in Washington and today we drove through the places on the game. – The Yakima Valley, Toppenish Ridge, Wapato Ridge, Umtanum Ridge, and Rattlesnake Ridge.  We found it quite amusing to recognize places from a board game.

We spent some time going in and out of fog banks, entered a section of rain and, as we climbed up Toppenish Ridge we were in snow.  We followed a semi all the way to the summit where he kindly pulled over to let the lineup of traffic go by for the descent.  All the trucks were pulled over and the drivers were putting chains on the tires.  It wasn’t the fastest section of driving we did today; but, hey, we are Canadians.  A little bit of snow on a mountain pass won’t stop us from heading toward warmer temperatures and sunshine!

IMG_4031 IMG_4032Our only other stop today was at Stonehenge, located at Maryhill on the Washington/Oregon border.  This exact replica of the famous standing stones in Englad was created as a WWI war memorial for the 13 men of Maryhill who perished.  Nearby was another memorial to the casualties of WWII from the surrounding towns  with rememberances also of Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan soldiers lost

IMG_4034IMG_4035IMG_4038IMG_4046 IMG_4050IMG_4048IMG_4051IMG_4052IMG_4053IMG_4060We pulled into Madras about 6:30, found a hotel, checked in, went for dinner and are now settled in our room for the night..


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