Day 6; LaGrande Oregon to Auburn, Washington
"I saw that."
"I didn't see anything."
"It was lightning."
"I know. Just wanted to ignore it."
So we rode on, into the storm.
From LaGrande to Yakima, we first broke our rule and ground out 90 miles of freeway. It just alienates you from your surroundings. However, in the middle we followed the mighty Columbia River, which carried a couple barges, but is overwhelmed by the trains skirting either state's side.
The landscapes today are mostly a patchwork quilt of yellow grass and evergreen trees. Farms break it up with corn, hay, beets, lettuce, and beans. Okay, I made the last three up. We city slickers don't know what they are! But the aroma of the farms is truly a delight.
Toppenish is a nice little town, bragging about its murals scattered throughout the downtown area. They add a nice touch, a bit of artistry and class.
As we continue further into Washington, the farms become vineyards and fruit orchards, with darker green colors. Now fruit stands fight for our attention on either side of the road as we ascend into the Cascade Mountains. Like a little truck made from apple crates. Very cute, let's buy a Walla Walla Sweet Onion.
The trees thicken and grow closer together. Opposite hillsides are fuzzy with evergreens. The temperatures drop, and clouds build. Then Sherri spots the lightning.
We gear up for the rain and soldier on, as there are no motels around Mount Rainier National Park. They want you to stay on the mountain, in the expensive ones. I don't think so! We rode over Chinook Pass, still dotted with snow. The trees become so thick, they almost meet above the road. Looking into the woods, it becomes dark in a few feet. Lush and green!
Since we never really plan much, the motels are all full in Enumclaw, so we buzz down to Auburn to a... well, not so nice motel. Yet, when we enter the room, it surprised us with a nice bed, fridge, microwave, and what do you know? Wifi! it's amazing how it has proliferated so quickly. It just puts the frosting on the cake of a very good day.