Thursday, June 3, 2010

Walla Walla Washington

It rained most of yesterday, so it was good that we chose not to travel then. Today there was a break in the rain and we had a rather pleasant trip to Walla Walla. It was a spectacularly beautiful drive along the Columbia River where we got our last views of four of the river's falls, Multnomah Falls being one of them. We also got one last view of Beacon Rock. At a rest stop just beyond that area I snapped this picture of the river. Off in the distance is a freight train traveling along the river.
As we walked around the rest area we noticed about six ground squirrels actively scurrying around the gardens. I think they were use to being fed by people because they seemed to have no fear in coming up to us and begging. Unfortunately I had no nuts or bread on me.  Maybe it is not good to encourage their begging anyway.
After driving through the Columbia's scenic river gorge with its towering rock walls and lush forests it was surprising to then see semi-arid range land with low-lying hills sparse of any vegetation. Soon the highway was moving away from the Columbia river and we crossed the border into Washington. Just outside the town of Walla Walla we started seeing cherry orchards, vineyards, and closed roadside stands which during the summer months sell sweet onions (Walla Walla is noted for those onions). One tour book claims that this area has about 300 days of sunshine in a year, but this is one year I believe it will fall sort of that number. As in the Portland area, Walla Walla has also had quite a bit of rain and cool weather during the spring months.

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