Saturday, July 15, 2017

Life on the road is trouble-free;

not so last week when we prepared to leave Bothel, Washington. The sewage disposal at our site was clogged (yep, that was quite a mess) so we had to use the dump station. When we arrived at our next camp site, Hood Campground, on the Snake River in the Tri-Cities area,
Love the Corps of Engineer campgrounds!
our pick-up refused to start. (After a couple of good cleanings of the battery posts, the problem seems to be fixed.) ABN attempted to put water on to brew tea but the pilot light refused to ignite. Captain started investigating and found the propane valve in one of the outside compartments had been turned off; neither of us turned it off so that remains a mystery.

Catching up with friends…………well it makes the little problems along the way seem like a minor annoyance.

In the Tri-Cities (that would be Pasco, Richland and Kennewick in southeastern Washington) we visited Captain’s longtime friends, Linda and Chuck. On first glance at their lovely hillside home, ABN noticed beets and squash tucked into a beautifully landscaped front lawn; with Fiestaware and a KitchenAid in the kitchen, she knew she was meeting new friends and soul mates. While sitting on their deck, looking over the valley we were introduced to wonderful Copper River Salmon (so much more flavorful than the Atlantic farm grown salmon that we usually eat.)

With Chuck and Linda as our guide,

we explored a few of the Red Mountain Wineries and found some very good wine. Our favorite wines of the day (Linizio Blend, Walla Walla Cab Sauv  ) were found at Cooper Winery.

The best view at Terra Blanca

And it was Tuesday!

While in the Tri-Cities, Captain wanted to connect with friends and colleagues from the nuclear industry. (Local and industry friends, take a close look, you may know some of these folks.)

After getting an oil change and transmission tune-up for The Wanderer, we said good bye to our friends and Snake River,

and continued our search for good Pinot Nior in Oregon.

Driving along I-84, just before reaching Portland, we took a break to hike to the top of Multnomah Falls.

At the top. According to FitBit, over 10,000 steps and 88 flights of stairs.
Oregon Wine Country is truly beautiful with rolling hills covered in vineyards and flowers we can only dream about in our hot and humid climate. Our search for really good Pinot Noir took us through the beautiful Willamette Valley, a ferry across Willamette River and up gravel roads.

A couple of our favorite wineries were Redhawk with drinkable inexpensive wine and St. Innocent for a nice, full flavored Pinot Noir.

Our very favorite was Brooks Winery, not only for outstanding Pinot Noir but also a lovely tasting venue with a spectacular view.
Deck overlooking the vineyards and garden

What goes well with Pinot Noir? Cheese of course! Happening upon the Willamette Valley Cheese Company, we had to stop and do their tasting.

 All the cheeses are made with milk from the cows we could see in the field. 
(Aged Chive and Black Pepper, Aged Asiago and Cumin Gouda found their way into our cheese drawer.)

Guess what else we found in Willamette Valley? Another Aggie! (They are everywhere!)

Michelle and Lowell (Class of ’70) from Colorado Springs occupied the site next to us at Silver Spur RV Park. We had a most enjoyable couple of evenings sipping Pinot and sharing stories. (Lowell is a real “rocket scientist” having worked many years at the Johnson Space center.)

Our palates have been pleased with the taste of fine Pinot Noir and our souls have been refreshed with friends. We have had just enough taste of Washington and Oregon to whet our appetite. We hope this is not our last visit.

We can now hear the call of the Zin and we are on our way!

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