|We woke early to a day already warming up. Another 100 degree day on the menu…in Yakima, that is. Driving north the weather stayed in the high 80s to low 90s. What a relief! Not really. We diverted 2.5 miles west to get fuel at Fred Meyer and do some last minute grocery shopping. The fridge and freezer are stuffed with stuff from home. The drive from Yakima to Oroville, WA was a study in dry, barren hills green only very close to water or cultivated fields, orchards or vineyards. After leaving the farming community of Ellensburg we climbed and climbed into a canyon where a bicycle ride was taking place. The bicyclists were riding outside the fog line, mostly, but since we take up nearly the full lane we were crossing the double yellow line with regularity. On the downhill side they were ripping along at a good clip, their reward for the long uphill climb.
Disclaimer: I’m sorry about the bug splattered windshield as most of my photos are taken from the passenger seat.
We passed so many orchards of apple trees, their branches propped up with two-by-fours because of the tremendous weight of the fruit. Cherries and apricots are in and available at farm stands all along the way. In Cashmere, WA there are boxes of fruit decorating the sides of the road and huge stacks of fruit boxes fill large lots. Jim is constantly distracted by motorcyclists out for the day or loaded with traveling gear. His latest dreams are of a motorcycle trip.
Between Wenatchee and Chelan Alt. Rt. 97 runs along the west side of what is really a river, but is dammed up to make several recreational lakes. It’s dry and barren country with railroad tracks following the curves of the river. On the east side Rt. 97 winds along miles and miles of orchards and vineyards. Rocky Reach Dam creates Lake Entiat. We traveled through the first tunnel of this trip north of Entiat.
Pateros city Park in the town of Pateros runs along the north side of Lake Pateros. It was easy on, easy off for us so we stopped for lunch. As soon as we pulled up a man came up with a bag of nice cold cherries. He said he was a cherry farmer and was giving away cherries. Maybe it’s the zucchini syndrome. Anyway, we ate our lunch under a lovely spreading tree with a view of the lake and ate cherries for dessert.
The terrain is pretty boring overall: dry, hot and brown. The view is very smoky. We don’t know where the fires are, but there must be several of them. Above one town, I can’t remember which one, I spotted a couple of water tanks painted in geometric designs. We arrived in Oroville, WA around 5pm and stopped for the night at the River Oaks RV Park. We’re in a pull thru site next to the one we had in 2007 on our way to the TransCanada Highway.
Home to Yakima, WA: 222 miles
Yakima to Oroville, WA: 241
Total miles: 463