The Girl and I tired of the hot Portland afternoons. Saturday morning, as I assembled my gear, after a week of conference, I wondered whether to wander west or east. The call of the Pacific was in my head. (It still is.) I knew the air would be much cooler there, with the mass of cold ocean there. After refueling the rig and buying ice for the Yeti, the pull got me and we headed west on U.S. 30.
The drive wasn’t fast. We passed through many small towns. The river was always to our right. There are only a few bridges across the Columbia River in this stretch. It was warm, but the heat of the day had not yet come on, so we drove with the windows down. I just love the outside air.
We stopped in a small town for a place called Burgerville. I wanted to empty my bladder and get a bite before my blood sugar fell.
The young man at the counter was quite outgoing and pleasant. He walked me through the menu, so I bought a small cheeseburger, a small order of French fries, and a small strawberry shake. The food was all decent, although Sonic still has one of my favorite shakes (only a few places are better). Rested and fed, we headed back out on the road west.
As we drove farther west, the area became more rural. Then we hit Astoria and there was traffic. I suppose I was not the only one looking for cooler air. We made a pass at Fort Stevens, but it was late enough in the day that I didn’t want to pay the day use fee just to drive through. So, we headed back into town.
I knew it would be hopeless to find a room there, so we crossed the bridge to Washington State and turned back east. The north side provided enough shelter from the sea breeze (or sea wind) that the temperature was a few degrees warmer. At 75F, it was nearly perfect. We stopped at the rest stop on Washington 401 for a respite.
What I found is that the Lewis and Clark Company called the place Dismal Nitch. The sheltered (or what they could make for shelter) at this point near the end of their journey during a raging storm. I can only imagine the difficulty of that expedition. It made me wonder what it must have been like. It made me wonder whether I could have done something like that.
Relieved, we clambered back into the rig and headed east on the Washington side. Here we found fewer people and less traffic.
Finding a room was difficult, but I finally found one (an expensive room) in Kelso, Washington. It was clean and what I needed.
We walked across the mall entry to a place called Izzy’s for a bite. Izzy’s is a buffet-style restaurant, very reasonably priced, and they have a grill that will make a small sirloin steak. The staff made over the Girl, but were respectful of her duties. She relaxed under my table while I ate my salad and steak, knowing that I’d be bringing a treat for her supper along with us.
Tired, but satisfied and content, we returned to the room. I made her supper and then we played the game we nearly always do. The Girl is so into her food, especially when I add a bite of steak or chicken. We both laugh and laugh at the process. It’s also a good training opportunity. She has to wait for my command to “go” or she is held back. The tension in her is crazy and she is so funny. What a doll she is.