Trip to Portland

Trip to Portland

Click here to see the first page of Portland series.

Click on the back button of your browser or click here to see the end of the Seattle series.

Click on any of the little pictures to see it full size (as big as it goes).

On September 22, 2002, I left for Portland, OR. I didn't have a good map for back roads South to Portland, so I mostly just took roads headed in the direction I wanted. I got off of I5 before Tacoma and took SR181 South to SR167 South. Here I saw a classical Seattle view of a serious mountain amongst the local hills and took this picture. Mountain from SR 167.
I then switched to SR7 South. There I saw the LaGrande dam which was built in 1912 for hydroelectric power (and was one of the first as you can imagine) for Tacoma. It was rebuilt in 1945. Here about all you can see if the reservoir which seems to have loads of algae.... La Grande Dam.
Most of the roads I drove on were tree lined and quite pretty. Here is a section of SR7. SR7 South.
This is the Alder dam. It was built in 1945 when they rebuilt the LaGrande dam on the same river.... I have discovered that orange juice concentrate keeps better at cool temperatures (no freezer) if you don't add water until you are ready to drink. Just mix a glass at a time and you don't end up with hard (alcoholic) orange juice. Mixed orange from concentrate only lasts about 36 hours while concentrate keeps for up to four days by itself in cool temperatures. Now I don't need to buy cartons of orange juice; while they keep for the five days it takes me to finish them, they cost much more ($2 is a good price while WinCo in Tigard, OR sells concentrate cans for 50 cents). Alder Dam.
In Elbe, WA there SR 7 crossed a pretty bridge over what I think is the Alder river.... I just realized was a great nutritional value Wal-Mart's 'Great Value' fudge covered marshmallow cookies are (they say fudge covered, but look and taste like chocolate covered). It costs 88 cents for a dozen which is about 7 cents each. However, each one has 130 calories, which is almost 20 calories per penny (I measure nutritional value by calories per penny) and that is the regular price, not a sale. Elbe, WA bridge.
It is almost impossible to beat that with prepared foods not on sale. Of course you can buy 50 pound bags of flour or sugar or a gallon of cooking oil and get 10 times more calories per penny, but those don't taste as good by themselves.... Why is it that you mix so-so things like flour, oil, and sugar (OK sugar tastes great by itself) and prepare them to get really delectable stuff like cake, etc. Odd thought there. Here is what I think is the Alder river from the bridge above. Alder River?
SR7 ended at US12 (which I had taken on my way from Missouri). I took it East for just a little bit looking for what I thought would be SR141 South. In the town where SR7 ended I had noticed a lumber mill. Here the mountains seem to have some sort of skin disorder (patchy sections without trees) where they had cleared off the trees for lumber I presume. That is why the mountain here looks a little strange. US 12 East.
Here is a hill/small mountain that was closer to make the cleared sections more obvious. It doesn't appear that they replant little trees right away like they do in Georgia. It looks like they just wait for the trees to recover on their own. However, with all the fires they have been having I imagine that the cleared sections are good as fire blocks. US 12, North view.
I took my first chance to head South which was SR131 (while I was expecting it to be SR141). Oh well, maybe it changed numbers mid-way and my map didn't show it. However, I soon into the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and on NF25. It was a very pretty tree lined highway. Gifford Pinchot National Forest, NF25.
One of the problem with tree lined highways is that you really can't see much other than the trees. However, I would see signs for Mt. Saint Helens and glimpses of a really desolate major mountain, but never anything to take a picture of (trees obscured the view). In frustration I tried one of the dirt roads that looked like it might lead to a pretty view. I climbed an exposed face (looked like it was dug out for gravel/fill for the highway). Can you see my car down below? There was an almost sheer drop most of the way down so I had to climb around to the left of this picture. Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
On the drive down the road I did get a really nice picture of the somewhat desolate mountians close to Mt. St. Helens which erupted in 1980. These mountains have not recovered nearly as well as those clear cut for lumber (well, duh)! Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
Here is an official view of Mt. St. Helens from the Clearwater scenic view area. It even includes the park sign and such. While I am adding odd thoughts on nutrition, why is it that if you eat fresh corn it is considered a vegetable, even if you mush it up and oil and such. However, if you dry out the corn and do the same thing (to make cornbread, for example) then it is considered a cereal. Drying out orange juice (as in concentrate) or milk doesn't make them less nutritious and not 'countable'. So, just what is it, other than water, that you lose when you dry out corn? Shouldn't pop corn count as a vegetable? Mt. St. Helens, WA.
I took several pictures of Mt. St. Helens, but this is my favorite. The trees on the sides are more than twenty years old, so they survived the blast and smoke and ash and such. There are lots of smaller trees all around them which are since the eruption. Of course Mt. St. Helens is quite desolate (and this picture shows a nice contrast). Mt. St. Helens, WA.
The volcanic ash may have been good for some of the surrounding hills and mountains as this picture from the area shows some very lush areas. Gifford Pinchot National Forest, NF25.
NF25 ran out and I took NF90 West to Cougar, WA (also not on my map). Here is a picture of a reservoir that was on my map, but without any name. Gifford Pinchot National Forest, NF90.
Here is the dam which seemed to be responsible for the reservoir. It looks like is just a dirt and rock dam, though I imagine there is a lot more to it than that else with leak like a seave and soon be washed away. Gifford Pinchot National Forest, NF90.
When NF90 ended, Spur SR503 began. There was no such spur on my map, but SR503 was just the road I was looking for; I was hopeful that I had found a good route (not horribly indirect, but quite scenic). SR Spur 503.
SR Spur 503 ended and I was able to take SR503 South. It had a very pretty bridge across a river. SR503.
Here is a pretty reservoir just off SR503. I took another road to I5 and then headed into Portland, OR and finally Beaverton, OR. SR503.
Click here to see the first page of Portland series.

This page was last updated on April 27, 2007