Last Friday after work we left Glacier N.P. and made the long two day journey to Memaloose State Park on the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. The first day we drove southwest through Montana and then straight across northern Idaho. Poor Idaho never gets any love from us. Last year we spent just three nights in Sandpoint, Idaho. This year we have driven straight through once on our way to Leigh & Brian’s, and then this time we spent only one night in a Cabela’s parking lot in Post Falls, Idaho. Which is about as close to the Washington border as you can get without actually crossing into Washington. Someday Idaho, I promise. Someday we will stop to explore your rivers and mountains. Not this year though- because we are Oregon bound! Oregon is wayyyy high up on the list of places I love. It was one of those places I knew I would love before I ever went there. Don’t ask me how I knew, I just did. After spending six weeks exploring the coast last year my love from afar was confirmed. This year we’re back for a few weeks to explore some of inland Oregon- or as they say the “dry side”.
It’s definitley dry here. And hot, very hot. They’re having some sort of record breaking weather here right now that has us almost wishing we had gone all the way to the coast. I say almost because despite the heat, where we are is pretty cool. Our home for the week is the Memaloose State Park about 10 miles east of Hood River. It’s a very nice park that lives up to my high expectations for Oregon State Parks (this is my post from last year about why we love Oregon State Parks) and has many sites overlooking the Columbia River. Here is the view from our site.
Yesterday I sat outside for a bit and did some work on the computer while enjoying the view.
I was hoping to see lots of big boats come past on the river, but so far all I’ve seen are one ferry/tour boat and one barge that I spotted through the bedroom window. Maybe more will come by before the end of the week.
The one thing we have seen are plenty of trains. There is a very, very active train route that travels past the campground on both sides of the river. Apparently this is the case all up and down the gorge and if you want to stay near the river, you pretty much have to deal with the train. Luckily, the train does not blow its horn on the way past, so the only noise we hear is from the wheels rumbling down the track. The train on the Washington side of the river only emits a low rumble.
While the train on this side of the river is much closer, and much louder. It hasn’t been too much of a bother though. We don’t mind the noise during the day, and it’s not loud enough to wake either of us up in the night. I think if you were a light sleeper though, this would not be a good campground to stay at.
In addition to a having a nice river view our site is large and shaded. And when I say shaded I mean shaded. We have four humongous trees on either corner of our site towering over us and blocking any sun that tries to peak through.
The shade has been both good and bad. Good because it’s helping to keep us somewhat cool in the 90-degree weather. Bad because we are not getting any solar power on our panels. Sunday we were gone all day, which meant that the amount of power we used was tiny, yet we only gained one measly percent of power. It’s so shady at this site that even an external panel (the kind that’s not mounted on the roof and you can move around according to where the most sun is) would do us no good unless we had a crazy long cord and could place it down by the river or across the street. Not all the sites are this shady. Most of the sites in the interior loop, with no river view, have sun at least part of the day. And some of the water view sites have sun as well, just not any that were available all week. There are also sites here with hook-ups. Except those sites are not only lacking a river view, but they are also right next to the interstate with constant traffic noise. All this means that we are using our generator everyday to fill the Airstream batties. Luckily, the site next to us is empty so we are able to place it behind one of our friendly trees and face the noisy end out towards the river. It’s places like this that confirm our decision to never get rid of the generator, no matter how much solar we eventually have. Cause without sun, there is no power.
That’s about all there is going on around the campground this week. There are some fun things to explore around here and later this week I’ll share what we’ve been up to when we’re not hanging in the campground under our big trees.