Saturday, May 1, 2010

Gateway to the Gorge

We are at the Flying-J truck stop in Troutdale, Oregon (map), a town that bills itself as the gateway to the Columbia River Gorge.

We've been here many times before, mostly to fuel. Troutdale has three truck stops, and they usually have the lowest diesel price in the Portland area, if not the whole state. Not true on this visit, and we are here because we needed water and a place to spend the night. What we did not realize on our earlier visits was that this lot is just two blocks from the historic little downtown Troutdale, with shops and restaurants; last night we had dinner at the very tasty yet inexpensive Ristorante Di Pompello, which was packed on a Friday night. The short walk to downtown makes this a more appealing stopover, and there is also an outlet mall right across the street.

We had actually expected to end up someplace east of here last night on US-26. It was snowing as we rolled through Government Camp, where we could find no water. Nor did we find it in Rhododendron, Zig Zag, or Sandy, and finally we decided to just continue here. Of course, had I known for sure we would divert here to the Flying-J, I probably would not have spent the $2 to dump in Redmond, as the one here is free. At least we did not have to haul the extra 3/4 ton over the pass. Or, for that matter, out of the Warm Springs valley, which was quite picturesque as we drove away from the casino.

I was able to connect with my friend Terry here in Portland, and we have plans to get together with them this evening. So from here we will roll over to the Gateway Elks Lodge (sort of a Gateway theme today, I guess), which is not far from their house. The lodge has power (and water -- oh well), so we'll get a chance to top up the batteries and use the electric heat to take the chill off overnight.

Photo by SarahMcD ॐ, used under a Creative Commons license.

1 comment:

  1. I-84 into the Gorge is a nice drive, but WA-14 on the other side of the river is way more fun. I'm not sure I would enjoy driving your bus on parts of 14 however. I have stayed at a Hampton Inn near Troutdale a few times.


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