Bend to Ontario, Highway 20

It’s not a short drive over Highway 20 to Ontario, Oregon, but the high desert/ Great Basin area is gorgeously austere.  This sagebrush country presents a different mosaic of green than the Cascades.  Farms and ranches dot the valleys cut through by branches of the Malheur River, which enters the Snake near Ontario.

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A Nice Place to Stay

Spent a couple of nights at McKenzie Bridge, at Cedarwood Lodge.  My cabin was one of the oldest on the property, about 80-years-old.  The McKenzie is yards away; you can hear it rushing by.  The couple who own Cedarwood Lodge, Michael and Carolyn Giorgio, have operated this place for several years; they’re wonderful proprietors.  Here are some photos of the area.  St. Benedict’s Lodge and Retreat Center is across the river, about a 20-minute walk from Cedarwood.

Views of the River

I love this river, the Columbia.  When I lived in Mosier, years ago, I would often walk to the bluffs above the river and watch it flowing by.  I could hear the cars and trucks on the freeway below.  Freight trains ran along both the Washington and Oregon sides of the river, hauling goods into or out of the interior of the country, and boats and barges loaded with produce and lumber would chug by.

June is one of those months in Oregon where it may rain for a day or two, then clear up and be sunny.  Then the showers resume.  In Portland (City of Roses), where I stayed a few days, I enjoyed a rain-soaked garden.

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Columbia River Gorge

From Ontario, Oregon on the Snake River to Portland, Oregon, situated between the Columbia and Willamette Rivers is a journey of about 375 miles, via Interstate 84.  In the photo below, it’s morning on the Snake River.  By afternoon, I was driving through the gorge on the Columbia River.  A strong west wind was blowing.  On the east end of the gorge, blue sky and puffy clouds.  But as I passed through the gorge, squalls of passing rain showers made for a moody sky.

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