Bike touring east along Washington State Highway 14. There are 3 fairly short and not too busy tunnels near White Salmon, but most of the road is really good biking. It is often hot and dry and supplies are sparse.
Images taken 1999.
Heading east along the Columbia Gorge near White Salmon, WA. east of Portland, OR.
Farther east, Maryhill Museum of Art is in an unusual location. Not a big city, but among the dryland ranches of the east part of the Columbia River Gorge. There is a replica of Stonehenge on the site.
Another stone circle view. Dry landscape in background.
Below images taken 2005.
Long dry stretches headed east with few towns.
Sort of an eire feeling to ride past this huge smelter complex after it has been shut down. Silence, in a place where one doesn't expect to find it. The realm of machines, abandoned. Maybe a lonely security guard. I didn't see. I just rode quietly by.
Many of Washington State's aluminum mills have had to close due, in part, to overpopulation.
Aluminum industry was attracted to pacific northwest in search of cheap hydropower. All the good dam sites, on the Columbia River have been taken, except for, ironically, the Hanford Reach. That's the last free flowing section of river between Canada and Boneville Dam. Hanford is also where another power source is located; WPPS #2; a nuclear reactor. WPPS #2 now has a new name; Columbia Generating Station.
Northwest population keeps growing and using more power. With practically no "growth potential" left in hydroelectricity, other more expensive sources of power are adding to the mix. No longer such an advantage for aluminum refining.
Some would say, "river view lots: get real; like you think I'm going to buy that?" It is the name of the real estate firm.
Roosevelt, WA., along lonely Highway 14, didn't have much last time I passed through (1989). This time (2005) townhouses were springing up even there. Not far from a set of houses was this sign foretelling of more.
It still seems like hardly anyone bikes. I didn't pass any other bike tourists that day, but when I mentioned that to the store clerk, she handed me a scrapbook from under the counter. They have cyclists sign and tell their stories. Quite a few entries were in that book.
I mentioned, to the clerk, that it was good to see that store. Last time I came through, only a bar was there. Bar had stone walls. She said the store dated back to mid 1980s, at least, and the bar must have placed wood over the stone.
Maybe my memory was failing me? On down the road, I got to another burg called Paterson. There was the stone sided bar. Easy to mix up two places.
Exit to more information about Maryhill Museum of art.