We turned left out of the Riverside Inn and onto Route 97
Business North – our destinations were to pass through Madras to pick up Route 197
and begin a grand exploration of Oregon’s High Desert, discover The Dalles, view
the Columbia River Gorge and Bonneville Dam, and pick up Interstate 84 for
breathtaking views of the Columbia River and Cascade and Coast Mountain Ranges.
Oregon’s state and interstate road system.
Picture of a high desert cattle ranch
north of Redmond.
Small town crested on a butte and nestled on a bend in the
Deschutes River that has carved a deep gorge out of the valley.
Route 197 apparently disappearing into the Deschutes River
Patch of irrigated green covering a valley north of Madras. Area farmers were growing wheat,
carrots, onions, Rainier cherries, hay, raising beef and dairy cattle.
The Dalles – French source translates as needles or narrows – appears as the car rolls over the last hill on 197.
First sight of the Columbia River Gorge demands heads to
turn right and take in the dam and river valley.
Route 197, right corner of map, leads straight in to The
Dalles. This is a nice small city
to explore and enjoy a snack or late lunch. After covering downtown, ride up and down and across the
hills overlooking the city – you will discover many beautiful vistas and
surprising gardens and residential properties.
The Dalles’ main street reminded me of Astoria’s in
The River Tap Pub is a nice place to stop for something to
eat and drink – Clock Tower Ales is another good choice.
Most of the 60 miles on I-84 looks like the picture
below. I vote for this stretch of
interstate being the most beautiful 70 mph drive in the country.
Multnomah Falls is a natural wonder worth stopping for. Eventually, we reach Portland and find
a motel to spend the evening with a place nearby to have dinner. Later that evening, we visited the
Pearl District and celebrated our great trip with high gravity beers brewed by
a newly opened pub and distributorship.
At airport waiting for our flight back to Atlanta, Patty and
I say goodbye to cool Portland and lovely Oregon. We encourage you to experience Oregon as we did – just
follow the plan described in Legs #1 – 6 and we believe you will. I’m so sure of it that I had to write
all of these web pages to show you “our Oregon”.