Leaving Colville, continued

Onward from Colville (rhymes with Smallville), dodging squirrels and following the Columbia River. I took it easy, watching for eagles and eagle food. I passed some fractured igneous rocks reminiscent of the Giant’s Causeway, then caught some big roads south to the Oregon border.

I drove on the Oregon side of the Columbia Gorge and was beginning to lament not finding photos opportunities where I could actually stop the car, when I had a chance to take leave of the Interstate and take the narrow, winding historic highway 30. Rule of thumb: When there are two ways to get from point A to point B, and one is far more efficient than the other, there is a great drive waiting to happen.

The day was soft—generally cloudy and often raining lightly. The roads were wet, not idea, for performance driving, which made it all the more pleasant to slow down and smell the moss. At lower speeds on a freshly-surfaced road, the motor purring, the tunes easily filling my little cabin, I was doing well. I tried not to think about my gas gauge flirting with “E”.

You know what you get when you have basaltic cliffs towering over a major river in a moist climate? Really cool waterfalls is what. Lot’s of ’em. I managed not only to curb my go-go-go instinct but I even doubled back once

—We interrupt this narrative to comment on the juke box in this little sports bar in a Portland suburb. Planet P is playing right now. Remember them? The song is “Why Me?” and the line that caught my attention was “He won’t be back this way ’till two thousand ten.” When that song was popular, that seemed like a long time away. Now it’s just about here. Wow.—

for a picture. I haven’t looked at the results yet. The shot I went back for I don’t think I got, though. I just couldn’t make what was in my head match what came out on the camera’s little screen. I’ve just got to keep practicing, I tell myself.

Now I sit, pen in hand, dangerously close to the pool table (some of these guys see to think it’s a contact sport), drawing curious glances from the locals. I think I’ll challenge the winner.

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