From the Blog

Tank Full Of Gas Chapter 13: The Gorge, Stonehenge, Hood River, Mt Hood

Last weekend was the warmest, sunniest couple days so far in Portland. I had grand designs to be really productive and do some art stuff and some business stuff and some web stuff. I had a long list of things I wanted to get done. But the sky! It was so shiny and warm! It was forecast to be in the 80s!

Sunday morning was like the opening scene from Ferris Bueller where he throws open his blinds and says, “How could I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this?”

I hadn’t yet driven further east in The Gorge than Hood River. I was interested in driving far enough east to see the terrain change from mountains and forest to plains and high desert. Dave hadn’t been to Maryhill or Stonehenge since he was a child, where he had caught the biggest fish of his young life in the Columbia River.

Sunday morning, we ate sugary cereal, coffeed up, gassed up the car and hit the road.

gorgedrive

It started out looking like the Pacific Northwest.

84east

But as we kept driving, the terrain changed.

gorgedrive1

The trees thinned out, and the hills became barren. The soil eroded away, exposing the black volcanic layers underneath.

84west

Can you spot what might be wrong in this above photo? From this vantage, we are driving west, instead of east. We wanted to check out Memaloose campground on the riverside. The only way to get there is to backtrack a little on 84 west. It gave us an opportunity to see cliffs from a different angle.

gorgedrive2

We drove past Hood River and The Dalles (The “Dolls”? The “Dahlls”? The “Dallez”? What?) went to Washington’s Stonehenge. Or in this case, Concretehenge.

concretehenge

It’s full size, built as an intact Stonehenge, as a memorial to WWI soldiers. Built by Samual Hill. As in “Where in Sam Hill?” He was a real guy. He built a lot of roads. And he named Maryhill after his wife, who moved from Minnesota, and promptly moved back after six months.

A long way off, we could see Mt. Hood in the distance.

concrete2

Mt Hood was our constant landmark on this trip. I had never seen the mountain from the northeast side.

concrete3

This also is the Pacific Northwest. I’m fond of photographs with roads in them. Roads go places.

route14east

Next stop was Maryhill Museum. We didn’t go inside, but we strolled the sculpture garden.

maryhill

As we circled the sculptures, peacocks would let out eerie, wailing screams and other would join in chorus. It was surreal. We were walking around on a bright, sunny day. But I thought of how different it would be, on a cloudy day. These brightly colored, sometimes unfathomable sculptures, shrouded in fog with the peacocks letting out distant screams.

maryhill1

More photos of the sculpture garden over here, including a taco bell. A bell. With a taco on it. It’s Art.

maryhill3

From there, we drove to Hood River to get some lunch. And we were starving. And it was really a truly awful lunch. But we were starving and it was food. I won’t even mention where it was, but avoid the “British style” pub in Hood River. Unless you are really, really hungry.

From Hood River, we headed south on Route 35. We could have blasted home on the interstate, but why? When there are mountain roads to drive on instead?

35south

What a monster. We drove all the way around. There was still significant snow in the mountain passes.

It’s been a long time since my car got so much bug splat in a day. 265 miles. Awesome.

Chapter Twelve: The Oregon Coast
Chapter Eleven: Oregon Wine Country (hic)
Chapter Ten: Astoria, Oregon
Chapter Nine: Panther Creek Campground, WA
Chapter Eight, Green Canyon Campground, Mt Hood, Oregon
Chapter Seven, Spruce Run Campground, Coast Range, Oregon
Chapter Six, Bend, Oregon
Chapter Five, Seattle, Washington
Chapter Four, Mt Saint Helens, Washington
Chapter Three, The Gorge and Hood River, Oregon
Chapter Two, The North Coast and Astoria, Oregon
Chapter One, Waipi’o Valley, Big Island, Hawaii

Comments

  1. Meredith says:

    Great pictures! Mt. Hood likes like it’s in another state from afar. And for the art, it’s supposed to be weird, you’re supposed to look at it and try to figure it out. All of it together is a composition of… well, weirdness, mission accomplished by the artist.

  2. Is Sam Hill Stonehenge aligned so that, on the vernal equinox, you can see the eye of Sauron looming behind Mount Hood?

  3. “Mount Fricken Hood,” oh, that made me laugh.

    I have not been that far east. Haven’t been close to Mt Hood either. Those pics are awe. some. Pacific Northwest, really?

Speak Your Mind

*