Sorry for the silence of the last couple of days. It always takes awhile to recuperate after a trip and catch up on things like unpacking, laundry, etc. Nonetheless, follow me home from Portland.
On Monday morning, Older Daughter and I made our pilgrimage to Powell's Bookstore, surely one of the most wonderful entities on the west coast for book-lovers like us.
Here we're approaching Portland's beautiful downtown area.
Some of the older buildings in the Pearl District are gorgeous.
We passed the elaborate entrance to Chinatown.
The über-tight parking garage for Powell's was undergoing construction, making it even über-tighter. Über joy.
Ah yes, joy.
As we checked out at the cash register...
...we saw bumper stickers sporting Portland's unofficial motto. There's something endearing about a city with a sense of humor.
Immediately after leaving Powell's, we hit the road for the looooong drive home. Mt Hood was visible, still clad in snow.
Soon enough we were in the Columbia River Gorge, following the river.
We made a lightning-fast stop at Multnomah Falls.
Turned out to be the 100th anniversary of the Benson Bridge, which dramatically spans the falls.
The sun wasn't conducive to photographing the entire span of falling water, so I contented myself with a quick pic of the lower falls.
And of course the footbridge.
It was already hot by this time, so Older Daughter kicked off her sandals and waded in the creek on the way back to the car. I kinda wished I'd joined her.
Then we hit the road again for some serious driving.
Very quickly things become dry and treeless.
The scale of these hills on the opposite shore of the river can be gauged by the white 18-wheeler in the bottom left of the photo.
There are enormous 300-foot-tall windmills all over the place.
We passed this massive but unknown gizmo being transported as an oversized load.
The last major sight we see before hooking a left on Hwy. 82 is a massive tree farm of fast-growing hybrid poplars, irrigated with water from the Columbia. I believe they're used for paper production.
They're so much alike they could be clones.
First stage of the trip, done.
The wonders of irrigation in an otherwise dry desert.
First loop of the Columbia. This brings us into Washington.
Old abandoned mining operation, I think.
Negotiating the Tri-Cities' complicated highway system, trying to sort the right route to take.
This second leg of the trip has some mind-numbing stretches, and by this point we were getting mighty tired of being in the car.
The third leg of the trip (after we turned off Hwy. 395) had improved scenery, but we were stuck behind a lumbering truck. It's not that the truck wasn't trying its best; it's just that we really really really wanted to get home.
But the desert gradually morphed into the sweet hills of the Palouse.
In the late afternoon we stopped in the charming town of Colfax to stretch our legs and find a bathroom.
The wheat is nearly ready to harvest.
These are (mostly) lentils.
Here's the sign we were waiting for!
This looks more like home.
It was wonderful to get back to the farm and reacquaint myself with all our critters. At the risk of sounding clichéd, there's no place like home!