Started this awhile ago… tonight I’m headed home; am in an RV Park near Ashland, OR. Went for a walk downtown, smelled all the great food. . . came “home” to make dinner only to find more of  my food had spoiled in spite of my best efforts, darn.

I’d gone back to staying in State Parks….  really love the lights out approach and with many of the kids back to school the State Parks seemed to be settling down. I fidgeted on the road, doing partial drives up one and back and then another and another…..  wound up in the upper campground at Castle Rock (Washington) side of Mount Hood…  I enjoyed that, lucked out with a double space in a clearing surrounded by tall thin pines, I went part way up the high road, then veered back and explored the lower road to the volcano but the visibility was almost nil and the driving hard mountain type so instead I tiptoed up the Columbia Gorge on the Washington side, then was struck by “intuition” and slide-slipped into Oregon for a rush up the Gorge on Hwy 84. That was a smart move. The smooth four lane highway was a joy to drive, along the way were sidetrips along the old “historic” highway. I took all of those! Waterfall hikes, resorts, the locks, the Bonneville Dam and of course lots of spectacular scenery. In searching for a campsite, my (not so) trusty GPS led me over a teensy weensy green metal draw bridge.  I NEVER want to do that bridge again in the LT. It’s very windy (gusty) and the LT does not track all that well. I had to do that bridge twice! Fine, it was only $0.75, one false move and you’re over the edge. It’s posted 25 mph but the cars push and cram trying to get you to move along. When I was on the other side I sampled the 2-lane narrow road that I would have taken (trying to make a U-turn) if not for my intuition. I wound up staying at a State Park flanked by the whistle-blowing freight train and the highway 7 miles South of Hood River on the Columbia. I loved the town in spite of their lack of RV accommodations. Apparently it was reborn after the demise of logging by California windsurfers. Indeed I saw lots of daring windsurfers. What would that be like, in that vast body of water zooming at top speed….what would Lewis and Clark have thought if they could have seen the future!!! My wind hands were getting pretty good at keeping the LT on the road.

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Hood River has been added as one of my favorite cities including the lush farmland as one starts to head east. I had a nice breakfast sitting with the dogs at a cafe then bought fresh peaches, tomatoes, blueberries and pear wine in the farmland. I didn’t feel the same about the forest in spite of dramatic views of Mount Hood. Maybe I was tired or already homesick for Hood River and the Columbia. Maybe it was the dark day and the dark woods. I decided not to camp in the woods…ah but I should have. I had trouble finding a place and wound up with a bad night at a crowded RV Park near where I’d started at Troutdale…  didn’t sleep well there as I had in the State Parks. I missed the dark night, the towering trees, the clamoring squirrels, the wind–blazing overhead lights and a laundry room can’t compare!