Hey, have you ever been to the Columbia River Gorge? If not, drop everything and get over there. It’s not just scenic, it’s a Designated Scenic Area, or something like that. Team Toto just spent three glorious nights at the east end of the Gorge, at Maryhill State Park, which is — no kidding — named for one Mary Hill. You can’t make this stuff up.
The park is right on Columbia River’s north (Washington side) bank. We snagged a “waterfront” site (by reserving exactly nine months in advance).
At site #35, we had a wonderful view of the Columbia and all its whitecaps. Thousands and thousands of whitecaps, and of course lots of fresh air, coming at us at 35 miles per hour, unceasingly. It was the kind of breeze that helps one understand why the organizer of this rally reserved a campsite well away from the shoreline. Ah. Got it.
This saved me the hassle of putting up the awning, which surely would have been ripped apart like a cocktail napkin in a blender.
A few steps out to the water (and the full force of the wind).
Wind is a thing here. Also, lawns. Our fellow rally campers informed us that the park staff takes great pride in the campground lawns; in fact it’s supposed to be one of the real draws for the park. This year, there’s a drought in the west, so the lawns look a little parched. There is no shortage of wind, however.
This wind is good for more than recreating humanoids in wetsuits. It’s good for making electricity, too. The wind turbines look odd in an otherwise minimally developed area. But then so does everything else that wasn’t here before. Is it progress? I dunno. Visually striking, though, yes, that’s for sure.
Here at Maryhill State Park, it doesn’t hurt to be interested in trains. Because there are lots of them, on both sides of the river, day and night. Most are freight trains, but twice a day there’s an Amtrak Empire Builder train racing through. They’re short — they’re just the Portland-to-Chicago addition to the Seattle-to-Chicago route — but let’s not discriminate against them for that.
There’s more to see and know about greater metropolitan Maryhill, and I’ll get right on it, tomorrow evening — from our next destination.Sharing is caring!
Following is daring.