Plymouth Park WA 9/16 - 9/19/11
After a convoluted approx 100-mi drive (Hwys 243, 24, 240, I-82 and 14) from our Wanapum St Pk C/G south of Wenatchee, we arrived at a Corps of Engineers C/G on the Columbia River at McNary Dam. The area we drove thru is dry and devoid of trees or noticeable life, but I'm sure there must be critters galore hidden on these golden grassy hills.
Plymouth Park is small, and we snagged a nice shady site with hookups. We decided to stay four nites, as the price is right for us Golden Agers! (Only $11.50/nite.) As always, there’s lots to see and do, and we packed in a lot. We rode our bikes all around the area, and at the day use area we watched – in awe – two retriever dogs fetching “dummy” ducks. The dogs only had eyes for their master and those “ducks,” which the guy threw WAY out in the harbor. With whistles, the dogs knew which dog was to retrieve and which dog was to "stay." Fascinating to watch, even if the dogs didn't always obey the signal!
Bam! In he goes!
Back to his master, after retrieving the dummy.
First thing Saturday morning, we drove across the river to Hermiston, OR, to their farmer’s market. Oh my, we’ll eat well this week ... with a pint of raspberries, eggplants, garlic, zucchini, peppers, fresh sweet corn and eggs. Yum! After the market and back on the Washington side of McNary Dam, the fish ladder and viewing windows were open to the public. We saw an incredible number of fish, mostly BIG Chinook salmon and Steelhead trout swimming UP the mighty Columbia on their way to spawning streams. I wish one of those fishies would've jumped in my arms (uh huh)!
Jimmy, my love, drove to a convenience store early Sunday AM for a newspaper to go w/ our coffee. Later, we hiked the McNary Dam nature trails and wetlands – and spotted the biggest blackberry tangle of vines ever; we’ll be back with containers – and then we had a first-rate personalized tour of the powerhouse. Thanx, Shawn.
45 min south of the Columbia River is Pendleton OR, a western and woolly town. We’d never been before and wanted to see the Woolen Mill and go under the city on the 90-min Historic Underground Tour. Monday we did both. Good choices! No way we’d ever imagine so much infamous history in such a place – Pendleton was known as the entertainment capital of Eastern Oregon (we’re not talking movies, either)…. At one time, Pendleton had 18 bordellos and I forget how many bars. The town also sported a Chinese jail, an opium den, and a laundry named: Hop Sing’s! “Was that his real name?” I asked. “Yes,” replied the guide. Ha! – remember Bonanza? All of this, and more, underground. Our tour of the woolen mill was interesting, but way too noisy because of the clattering machinery. I love the colorful Pendleton Wool blankets. Long day, but great day.
Vibrant colors for their woolen goods.
And, finally, you see we came back with our containers. These blackberry bushes extend far beyond our camera's eye. The thorns are formidable, which means a person can't get very far into the vines without major injury! We did all right, using sticks to get to tender berries. We picked lots more than four cups!
One small section of the giant berry patch - loaded with berries.
That evening we enjoyed a delicious blackberry cobbler.
Berries come to fruition! Delicious!