Monday, June 24, 2024

June 23

 On the road by 10:00. This was supposed to be a relatively short travel day, but Hwy 12 had other ideas. It wound up and down and around through farmland worse than it had wound up and down and around to accommodate the various streams it followed the day before. We finally pulled into our motel just before 6:00, but let me tell you about what we saw. 

The first few miles were a climb out of the Snake River Valley. Other than the climb, it was 100 percent different from yesterday. We went from lush heavy pine/fir/spruce forests to near desert conditions  in a rain shadow. The occasional tree almost appeared as blemish on the landscape. 

But coming down was 100% different from the climb up. Not forest. Not desert. Now we saw farm land as far as we could see from one horizon to the next, some small family farms, but mostly farming on an industrial scale. Without an accessible river this was dry land farming, but it was outside the rain shadow. The crops were mainly animal feed and wheat and they were thriving. 

In real estate the saying is “Location. Location. Location.” Often the value of a location depends on the availability of water. That is always true in the case of agricultural land, whether it is pumped up from the ground or falls down from the sky.

We drove through Pomeroy with its massive grain storage facility. Of course I failed to get a photo of the large units but let this photo serve as a small sample.

About this time, we noticed that for the first time in several states there were no snow plow markers and no designated chain-up areas. The road felt a bit naked without them. We also had no internet service. Sarah called and we were quickly disconnected. I tried to reconnect with her, but to no avail. 

And here was the Snake River again. An impressive bridge, but a thin blue line on the map. The river  will greatly increase in size before it disappears into the Columbia River. 

Finally, a break for Stanley - about an hour’s drive on Interstate 90. We stopped about half way for lunch in the shade of a locust tree. 

We pressed on past Moses Lake and the Rock Island Dam. And on north to the Wenatchee Valley. Miles and miles of fruit. Apples, pears, cherries, and grapes. Lots of grapes. But even more cherries. In fact, it’s the largest cherry producing area in the world. And the largest producer of organic pears. And it’s impossible for me to estimate how many apple trees. 

Take a look at the apple storage facility we passed on the highway. This is just a sample!

We made a quick trip to the grocery store to replenish lunch supplies and find a treat for dinner. We found our treat at the sushi counter and paired it with green salad, white wine, and the decision to spend an additional night in Wenatchee.

¡Buenos noches!