Checked out in the morning and drove to the next major city on the Columbia River, The Dalles, just 30 minutes down the road. Amazingly in that short drive the landscape changes as we are now on the Columbia plateau. Arid, dry and yet the river is beautiful as it continues flowing towards the Pacific.
We visit the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, where the exhibits display indigenous people’s crafts and other local crafts used by the early settlers while also telling the history of the area.
The Dalles was considered the end of the Oregon Trail because there were rough rapids further up the river so people had to either traverse the Columbia River on rafts or they had to go over land.
Also, in the museum a short lecture on raptors. A young woman tells us all about the Kestrel bird. This particular bird was raised by a human who took it from its nest when it was only 2-3 days old, thus, it would not survive in the wild. This museum is well worth the stop.
There are also many dams on the Columbia river including one at The Dalles. We catch a glimpse of a dam while driving the interstate that follows along the river.
A stop at a rest area in this part of the country has some interesting sights.
We arrive in Richland, Washington for the night and discover a quaint USA town. People are enjoying the hot summer day by swimming in the river, relaxing on the grass and visiting an art fair in the park. It is hot! Thank goodness for these HUGE American Sycamore trees shading us.
As always, a beer over an early dinner. Then laundry and now bed. Tomorrow a few hours of exploring Richland, WA before heading to Spokane, WA where we will meet up with our tour group.