Friday, August 14, 2009

Cascade Locks, Oregon

We rose to the sound of beating rain. Hot Lake was steaming, in the distance to the East. The campground was posted with no trespass signs at the lake end. A dike had been built, perhaps to keep the lake out of the campground.

We scurried with our morning tasks, and it quit raining about 10. We were gone by 10:30. We messed around at the Flying J waiting to get some fuel, but did not advance to the pumps. I finally gave up, opting to leave with 15 gallons missing from the top of the tank. Heck we still had 65 gallons on board.

Loyce did get her tank filled while she waited, so that made us good to go.

We climbed to a summit near Meacham, Oregon which was about 4,200 feet, and then meandered up and down the mountainside until we got to Emigrant Pass. From that point it was straight down. Well six miles of 6% grade down. Some of it was more like 10% at times.

By the time you reach Pendelton, it is only 1,200 feet of elevation, so you descend 3,000 feet in only 6 miles. The motorhome was geared down with its exhaust brake, and rumble grumbled in third and second gear at times. I never did have to use the brakes much, and the temperature of the engine cooled to about 160 degrees. It normally runs at 190 to 200.

Once reaching Boardman we reached the Columbia River Gorge. (Try not to notice the buggy windshield.)


It is really a neat place, but the wind was horrible. It tossed the motorhome back and forth like a toy. I slowed to 60, and then to 55 as we got later in the day. I’m not all that experienced with driving, especially in that amount of wind.

There were wind generators on the tops of many of the hills, so wind is a constant feature of the gorge. By the time I reached the town of Hood River, I was killed. I stopped and purchased a $100 worth of diesel. I paid cash as it was a 7 cent break at the pilot station. It didn’t quite fill me but the gage was indicating full. I might have squeezed another gallon in, but I had prepaid with cash, so the pump shut off at that amount.

I just did a point to point measurement of the distance between fills and got 372 miles. I bought about 37 gallons of fuel, so that would be somewhere near 10 miles per gallon. That is good considering that the engine only has 3,500 miles on it. It may get better once it is more broken in.

Here at Cascade Locks, we are in another KOA. It is right along the highway, and the river bank. It is also a stone’s throw to the Union Pacific train track. All the reviews of this place said the train runs every 45 minutes all night long. Nice!

IMG00061-20090813-1731 Note the train track right beside the highway.

I did pay for 2 nights, as I am tired of driving, and we need to look into some sight seeing around here tomorrow. Mount Hood is a bit South of here and there is a sternwheeler on the river here as well. Perhaps we can do one of these.

Another train just went by, and they blow the whistle right at the campground crossing. That’s a nice touch. But it only cost $30 an night, and that is dirt cheap this far out in the West.

Retired Rod


  1. Well, at least the didn't charge you extra for the train whistle entertainment:))

  2. Glad to hear you are having a good trip!!! Be sure to watch the change in the locks--it is quite an experience to the ships go through there... Oregon is a fun state!!

    Jenny J

  3. I love trains but I am not sure I would want to hear them all night... Sounds like you’re having a great time and I love your descriptive stories... We are going to hit Oregon next year too... The only state in the lower 48 that we haven't been to.

    Have Fun & Travel Safe


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