2018-09-27. Heading East
We left the "left coast" this morning and headed east into a blinding sun. Along the shoreline, the tide was out and clammers were busy digging for clams and oysters in the mud flats. Soon, the verdant green of the Olympic Peninsula was a mere memory as we followed the Columbia River along I-84. Here and there, we saw evidence of the serious fires that burned and are still burning on the Washington/Oregon border. It is hard to imagine how you can fight a fire on these steep slopes but it is not hard to see how fast and far the fire can travel once started. There were huge expanses of blackened mountainsides and some of the most well known of the river gorge sights, like Multinomah Falls, were only open if you took a shuttle bus because the roads were not yet passable for cars.
We stayed overnight at LePage Corps of Engineers park right off an exit of I-84 and along the John Day River at its confluence with the Columbia River. It was interesting jockeying the RV into the very tight space we were assigned, but as usual, Bob mastered the task. Except for the incessant noise from I-84, this was a lovely spot with a nice boat launch area and park. When we checked in, the ranger mentioned that Bighorn Sheep often come down the mountain toward sunset. I was walking Roadie and when I returned, Bob had the binoculars trained on the mountainside across the river. Sure enough, there were four Bighorn Sheep strolling from the heights toward the riverbank where they drank their fill then, strolled back up. Neither of us had ever seen Bighorn Sheep so this was a real treat for us! They are so well camouflaged that, but for the movement, and the white butt you would miss them altogether. And big! The size of the horns was impressive, especially on the rams. The moon rose full and bathed the hills, rivers and us in silver. A lovely night!