Ride 6- This time we are headed east of the Cascade Mountains in mid-June. We are
going to take the scenic route over the mountains and though some valleys to the
wine and fruit region. The day starts out with some scattered showers but the temperature
is comfortable and the ride easy.
We arrive at the campground of the Yakima Indian Reservation. We find out at check
in that no alcohol is allowed in the reservation! That won't do! But as we have
not checked out whether there is any other campground in the vicinity we decide to
stay. We will pour the beer into a mug and drink it anyway. We have no intention
of getting drunk and causing a problem. Nor do we plan to share it with any other
We make camp in the shade of couple of topped Cottonwood trees and make ourselves
comfortable. After an hour Kathy can't resist and we go over to the casino. I go
along although I don't have any plans to gamble. I figure I'll have a beer in the
bar. But there is NO BAR!! The only casinos I have been in were in Nevada and all
had lots of bars. In fact drinks for active gamblers are free. Not here! I tell
Kathy I'm leaving and as it is less than a mile to camp she agrees to walk when she
has spent her $20. She is a conservative gambler and never gets carried away with
her gambling. I just see no entertainment value in giving my money to them, so I
On the return trip we head south to the Columbia River Gorge and follow the 2-lane
highway along the north shore. The ancient lava flows that formed much of Washington
and Oregon are cut deeply by the Columbia River making it difficult to build 2 railroads,
a highway and a freeway through it. But this does make for scenic views and tunnels.
Ride 7-On this ride in mid-July we are going to the "Cowboy Dinner Tree" with the
GWRRA (GoldWing Road Riders Association) chapter from Salem, Oregon (GWRRA OR-G). We
are not following the same route because they are closer but we will all camp together.
The Cowboy Dinner Tree is a steak house in the middle of nowhere near Silver Lake,
OR. When this was cattle country the chuck wagon would usually park here by a large
Juniper tree, hence the name. I heard about it in 2005 when I worked fighting forest
fires for the USFS office in Silver Lake. It is only open weekends and can be snowed
in in the winter. It only serves two meals, a 30 oz. (almost a kilo) steak or a
whole chicken, and there is no sharing meals. When I heard that OR-G was planning
to go I quickly signed up.
We took the scenic route, of course, over the Oregon Cascade Mountains to the High
Desert region of Central Oregon.
After giving a lot of thought to next year (2014) and our long term trip we decided
to buy a tent trailer instead of trying to camp all the time in a tent. We again
rode with Mark who also has a Leesure-Lite trailer.
Along the route we stopped at an informational sign about the wildfires that had
burned this area. I was on one of these fires. The right hand picture shows the
snags left and the returning forest. Mother Nature abhors a vacuum and she will
grow something there if it is at all possible