Easy Day to Arlington

It was just a bit before 7am when I groaned myself out of bed and shuffled to the coffee pot. Dar was up just a short time after that. Since our day was a simple one... get up, get ready, get going, and get there... (and getting there was only 140 miles away), neither of us was setting any land speed records. The emotional exhaustion of leaving was most of my problem. (Hi Ryan, Evan, Andrea and Gage!)

After a couple cups of coffee things started clicking and I was knocking off departure chores like an old hand. We had a little problem with a balky slide-out, the kitchen one, which wouldn't lock after being retracted. The lock secures the slide-out tightly to the rest of the coach's sidewall, and while it's better to have the locks engaged, it is possible to drive without them if necessary. We've had occasional problems with these locks before but have always been able to get them to eventually engage. I'll work more on this issue as we make our way South. Eventually the Safety Director approved my plan to "go" without the lock and we were on the road by 10:30am. It's a rare thing indeed for me to have a plan approved by the Safety Director.

The route was I-84 East to the town of Arlington, OR., which is situated right along the Columbia River. It's a shorter-than-normal day for us, but there's no rush and it made the first day back on the road enjoyable.

Wind is a common phenomenon in the Columbia Gorge and we had a real nose-full for the first 50 miles or so... a direct, hard, gusty headwind out of the east. But at some point we crossed a line and the wind stopped... not "eased" or "lessened" or "subsided"... it stopped... just like that. I don't know why. The Gorge is a wierd place when it comes to wind.

Exiting at Arlington, we found the way to the Port of Arlington RV Park, situated on a man-made spit of land that extends out into the Columbia River. (Link to interactive map) The modest port facilities include a large grain elevator, a marina for pleasure boats, and an RV Park. Because we could use a day to recover from a mild case of emotional trauma (due to GS -- Grandkid Separation) and because the chance of rain is high on Saturday, we decided to stay until Sunday.

From here we'll head South into the heart of Eastern Oregon where our next stop should be somewhere around John Day, OR. We'd like to learn more about the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument near there and the other objective is to experience the forgotten and expansive eastern part of Oregon.

Thom Hoch
Arlington, OR


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