Friday, September 14, 2012

The Great Northern Redneck Adventure–Chapter 2– We’re still in Oregon?!! Onward to Spokane, the East awaits!


View GNRA - Chapter 2 – We’re still in Oregon?!! Onward to Spokane, the East awaits! in a larger map


Well, luck was with us, and the night was uninterrupted by anyone banging on our door to inform us that we couldn’t park where we were and needed to move, or anyone managing to collide with the bicycles on the rack next to the camper. 

I think it was somewhere around 9-9:30am by the time I managed to pry my crusted-shut eyes open and stick my head under the sprayer attachment for the sink to rinse away the last of the urge to climb back into the bed and pull a pillow over my head. 


It was 10am and the morning sun was already toasting things up by the time we stepped outside the camper cocoon and I got a chance to swivel my head around and get a good gander at the area. 

This wasn’t my first time through Biggs, but it was the first time I’d spent more time there than it took to get gas or take the off ramp onto US 97 South or North. 

The hills have become forested with Wind Turbines over the past ten years, I can recall when there was none here at one time, now there are quietly moving trees of white steel that have synchronized blinking red lights atop them at night for the purpose of befuddling drivers along I-84 who wonder at the surreal view far ahead of them.


Mason wandered over to the gas station to buy a bag of ice so we could chill the little red ice chest of water and soft drinks that we carried in the cab of the truck for the day while I packed in and battened down everything to get the camper back on the road. 

Our first sight-seeing stop was right across the river from us, the Maryhill Stonehenge Memorial!

A quick trip across the Biggs bridge, and a gradual creep up the mountain and we were there Smile.  Sadly, the little souvenir and ice cream stand that’s near the memorial has closed it’s doors Sad smile.


We meandered around a while, snapping photos here, snapping photos there, Mason posing for photos for what I later started calling his “fan girls” on facebook. 


After meandering around the memorial for a while, we clambered back into the pickup and made our way down the hill from the memorial into the small town of Maryhill below. 



There really isn’t a whole lot left to the town of Maryhill, mostly a few homes, the Church, the fruit orchards, a winery, the state park, and an RV Park. 

Our main reason for visiting was to stop by Gunkel Orchards to acquire some fresh peaches for our journey.   I’d visited here once before in 2009 during the Eastern Oregon Ramblin’ Journey (as of the time of this post, still backlogged for posting) and had gotten a good bounty of fresh peaches.

This time, the peach bounty wasn’t as… well bountiful, but it was a month later than when I had been there last, and three years later, so that doesn’t surprise me as much.


Since we hadn’t had our breakfast yet, we parked the truck across the road in as much shade as I could get it in and we had cereal and attempted to each some peaches. 

I really should have paid a bit more attention to their ripeness, as they were definitely not ripe yet, and kind of ruined the enjoyment I had been looking forward to. 

The remaining peaches were stowed in a sack and tucked in the cabover to ripen as we continued on east before anymore were eaten.

A sadly, less than satisfying breakfast down, we battened everything down and got back across the river and onto I-84 heading east again. 

Along the way, we passed the numerous hydroelectric dams that generate the bulk majority of Oregon’s electrical power, like the Dalles Dam below:


And had a laugh at the fact that there was a tiny town named “Arlington” in Oregon cut out of the rugged cliffs lining the gorge.


Of course, since we motored along at 55mph in the right lane, everything, including a number of other RVs passed us Smile with tongue out:


Eventually, after a slight pucker moment with my timing of our fuel stop, we made it onto I-82 and were crossing the Columbia River out of Oregon for the last time. 


At last, we were truly on our way!

For me, this wasn’t my first time traveling I-82, however, it was my first time driving my own RV along it and crossing it in the daylight. 

First thing that caught my attention not long after we had crossed into eastern Washington was what looks like an abandoned mine shaft right along side the interstate.  I doubt it is one, from what I’ve read, but the placement makes it certainly look like one. 


You can see it yourself if you drive I-82, it’s right at Milepost 116 northbound on the east side of the interstate. 

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We made a supply stop at the Walmart Supercenter in Kennewick, WA to pick up some stuff we still needed, including the super handy LED headlamps that were originally bought to ride the route of the Hiawatha trail, but ended up getting used to a lot more. 


Then a brief rest stop a little further north to contact TC Life to take up his offer of an overnight stay:


Truck Campers unite!


  1. Nice blog! I was wondering what had happened to ya!!



    1. Thanks Ray :). All went well, just rather slow in getting the posts written up.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Dan, I'm glad you're enjoying it thus far :).