Tour Along the Columbia River, or, How To Get OUT of the Rain

Thanksgiving has just been celebrated and I know that the main topic of conversation at everyone’s family table this year must surely have centered around the silence that has been the Little Cunning Plan blog lately. Fear not, thankful readers.  We have not yet drowned or gone insane, although there are days when we believe the end times must surely be nigh. High winds and heavy, pelting, disgusting never-ending rain are part and parcel of November in the not-so-pretty-anymore-is-it? Pacific Northwest.  Bring out the dawn simulators, treatment lights, and 5-HTP. Winter is descending. In a previous life I must have been a bear who killed some innocent tourist as it is my karma to be born human and NOT be allowed to hibernate during this most apocalyptic time.

But, nasty weather and fallen limbs aside, we’ve had some actual activity here that might be of interest. There was a trip down to Boardman, Oregon, on the Columbia River. Would I like to travel to the eastern side of the mountains, where there is no rain? Why, yes, thanks! I would! My sister and her family are moving there for 18 months so we took the long drive down to check it out. It didn’t take long to see the town, since it’s one of those towns where if you blink you’ve missed it.

Quite the cute little marina with mostly sailboats! There is a waiting list, of course.

However, they have a lovely marina park and hotel right on the river, complete with a heated outdoor pool and a really great outdoor hot tub. Just what the doctor ordered for this bone cold body. MMMM! The marina is worthy of note due to the price of the slips: $385 for a 35 foot boat. That’s per YEAR! That’s right. $385 per year. It’s killing me. Except that it’s too far from the salt water for me, and there is a waiting list. Still.,..

I liked the River Lodge and Grill in Boardman not only for its terrific pool and hot tub. The managers there must be quite nice people because they personally take care of a colony of feral cats on the property. Upon arrival, guests are greeted by Buddy, a friendly black cat who showed up at the property some years ago.

Buddy, official greeter at the Boardman River Lodge and Grill, who enjoys being petted.

About 6 other cats live in and around the work shed on the property. They are all feral, and some have been there longer than the 7 years these managers have been in residence. There were about 14 cats when they took over the property. They systematically live-trapped each one and had it spayed or neutered at their own expense. Over the years they have been able to find homes for many of them. They installed a cat door leading into the shed, and also a separate structure for the cats to get out of the weather. These cats are well cared for, even though they remain feral and will not approach people.

These cats are too skittish to pet.

Grey kitty will not be petted. He runs away.

Next time I am in Boardman, I will stay at the River Lodge and Grill again. The rooms are nice, the managers are cat lovers, and the hot tub calls my name, even from afar.

On the way home we crossed the river to the Washington side, traveling through the Columbia River Gorge, one of the most scenic areas in America. We stumbled upon this place of worship high on a rock overlooking a winery and the river. I stopped to invoke the will of the sun god. It didn’t work.

Channeling my inner pagan goddess, who is apparently too weak to capture the will of the sun god.

Actually this is a complete replica of Stone Henge, built as a monument to fallen soldiers in WWI. Apparently it’s quite popular, but I had never heard of it.

It’s wine country.

All the muted colors. All the grey.

Another exciting sighting: Big Horn Sheep. You have to look carefully as their camo is better than anything a hunter can wear. Only their white rumps give them away. We saw a herd of about 30 of these. It was my first time seeing them.

And if you look carefully…. aren’t they cool? I love them!

Stay tuned as there will be other news forthcoming, including chickens. Yep, chickens. That’s what’s known as a ‘teaser’, folks.


5 thoughts on “Tour Along the Columbia River, or, How To Get OUT of the Rain

  1. Yay! You are back! I can’t beat you up too badly because I am ooooh what? 2 weeks behind my blog schedule. I promised to post once a week during the refit. I hate to break a promise but we all know about my schedule issues. 🙂

    Looking forward to the chickens.

  2. Well that’s just weird….we also drove down and over the Columbian river last Friday. We went to Portland and purchased a marine generator for Mondo.

    I must say I am very impressed by your ability to eke out the sunshine for the past 2 days (at least over here on the peninsula). Your powers are amazing! We took Mondo out Saturday night and spent the night on the hook. Note to self ferry wake feels bigger in the wee hours of the morning!

    • Great minds think alike, Robin! Well, apparently my connection with the Sun God is askew because you guys got the sun on the peninsula, but we didn’t get it here until today. Hey,I’m not complaining! Cold, to be sure, but sunny. I can live with that. You guys are already getting good use out of that boat! That’s wonderful. We haven’t been out in weeks. It’s making me a little crazy.

  3. LOL, yes we were thinking about you. Your area is so pretty…so a while, then the rain starts.

    Your first paragraph is a hoot. Stay dry and try to think about warm sandy beaches!

    • Oh, I think about warm, sandy beaches, Dani. I assure you I do. We’re trying to decide where we should go this winter for a little ‘get out of Dodge NOW’ trip. Mexico, or Hawaii. I will swear in court that the rain is much worse now than it was 20 years ago. It used to be just drizzly all the time. Now it is downpour. But today is sunny, so we’re all happy. Cold, but happy.

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