The Interstate leading to Umatilla is just plain flat but we started picking up some stout winds as we progressed. Probably in the 30 to 40 MPH range. The cars didn’t have any trouble with it but you could see the trucks fighting it.
We fueled up in Umatilla, crossed the river and turned onto SR 14 where we were greeted with a sign telling us that SR14 was closed about 10 miles ahead of us. A quick conference at the side of the road and we pulled a U turn and headed back through Umatilla to pick up I84 again. The only draw back to having a major river and very little population is that between Umatilla and Biggs there’s no place to cross back over the river. A matter of 75 miles.
The wind kept blowing and we kept driving. An odd thing that I noticed was that during that leg the wind at different times was blowing in three different directions. Head on, from the side and sometimes from the rear.
We stopped at Biggs for a quick lunch where Mike and I decided to just come the rest of the way back in on I84 while Dave opted to cross the river and come in on SR14 since it would let him out a little closer to home. Part of the decision to come in on 84 was due to the fact that I’d never been cameraed up through the Gorge and this looked like a good opportunity.
Just before Biggs you pick up the Columbia and it stays with you all the way back into Portland. You also start to pick up the verticals that define the Gorge.
At one point the highway curves to the left and you’re presented with a clear view of Mt. Hood.
After The Dalles you just follow the river course as it passes through the cuts that make the Gorge. You’re presented with multiple views of the river, the gorge walls and the Washington side of the river.