Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wallula Gap, Revisted

Yay, the weather girl was right!  We woke to a beautiful sunrise and calm winds.  (Wow, the sun doesn't come up until after 7:30 now!)

Two days of sustained winds 20-30 mph, with gusts as high at 56 mph was enough.  And we have been in the Tri-Cities area for 9 days.  Two nights at Clover Island in Kennewick, four nights at the public dock at Columbia Park in Richland, and three nights at the Richland Yacht Club.

Our intent was to stay for two or three days.  Al had his regular work phone calls on Monday and Tuesday, and we went to the Ice Harbor Brewery for Monday Night Football and half-price appetizers.  Al got a fit-in dental appointment for 11:00 AM Wednesday morning, in Richland.  Then he wanted a day 'just to relax', so that was Thursday.  Then Friday we were invited to the Richland Yacht Club's weekly BBQ, so we stayed for that, but by then high winds were being predicted for the weekend.  The Yacht Club invited us to wait out the weather at their dock.  How fast the days add up!

But away we go!

Once again we pass through a section of the Columbia River that I consider to be among the most beautiful.

Entering the Gap, look at that sparkly sunshine!

The Twin Sisters, from the other side of the river

A 'wedding cake' rock?  Lots of different layers...

Can you see the livestock path, at the top of the scree, going right to the center of the photo?
And actually, we got a bit further down the river than we had planned!  Literature at the yacht club said that there were mooring buoys installed at various sites on the river, one being at Hat Rock State Park, just above the McNary dam.  It was our intention to stay there tonight.  Though we passed the park on our way UP the river, we were well across the river and missed getting a good look.

Today we were surprised by the number of houses in this neighborhood.  And as we followed the directions to where the mooring buoy was supposed to be, it became evident that there was no such buoy.

Al asked if I would like to continue on to Boardman, where we talked of stopping tomorrow night.  If it had been just an hour earlier in the day, I may have considered it.  But at 4:00, with a dam still to traverse and 25 miles to go, we would not arrive until about 7:00, and the sun goes down around 6.  No, I'd rather be settled before sundown.  So we are in Umatilla again, at one of the most expensive marinas of the trip.

Oh well, we can sleep in tomorrow.  Maybe go out for some breakfast.  It should only take 3 hours or so to Boardman.

The clouds have arrived, and we know it is raining in Portland.  But the good news for today?  Only 3 more dams to go!

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