I’m going to cheat a bit and skip ahead to our road trip. I’m a bit worried about remembering everything on the drive so I’ll write every day, and post when I can. In all my spare time I’ll work on the photos and words for the cruise and Seattle.

Day 1

This morning we said sad goodbyes to Suei, Gemma and little Blue-man and headed south towards Oregon. After skirting the edge of Portland, we travelled along the Historic Columbia River Highway (Highway 30), stopping at waterfalls and lookouts. We did a few walks and ended up less than halfway towards where we’d planned. Typical Vallance-style travelling. Tonight we’re camped on the Columbia River at Eagle Creek campground, watching chipmunks run around us. It’s quite lovely but the highway is between us and the river. I think my sister would call it ‘white noise’.

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Day 2

We had a quick breakfast and said goodbye to the chipmunks with the plan to get a fair way down the road to Yellowstone National Park. But….in true Vallance-style travelling, we got a little bit side tracked. The caretaker at the campground suggested we double back a few miles and look at the Bonneville Dam and fish hatchery. It was AWESOME!! We met Herman the 70+ year-old sturgeon, saw fish in grow out ponds, and watched hundreds of big adult salmon navigate the fish ladder on their way to spawn where they were born…at the hatchery! Riley even had a go at fin clipping a fingerling. We had a great time. So great it was nearly lunchtime before we left. Sigh. Eventually we hustled into the camper and were on the road. Half an hour later we stopped at a gorgeous lookout, surrounded by pear orchards, with views of Mount Hood and Mount Martin (I think) for lunch. Sigh. THEN we were on the road again (Finn keeps singing the words of Willie Nelson’s song but he mostly just makes them up). As we travelled east, the Columbia River Gorge scenery changed dramatically and, as we said goodbye to the river, we entered open plains, dry mountain ranges and I SAW BIGHORN SHEEP. Google them for Oregon. Tonight we are at Baker City (about the size of Atherton City) which was where we were kinda hoping to get yesterday. Ha!

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