Day One of our road trip was a nice Oregon spring day, meaning that it was dry though overcast. We headed out a little late, just after 10am, Eastward on I-84 through the Columbia River Gorge.
The Gorge is one of the most beautiful spots on earth, and it’s no wonder it has been designated a National Scenic Area. It seems the Gorge always shows up in car advertisements, showing the vehicle perched majestically above a huge river flowing far below.
This Sunday the Gorge was utterly calm, which is really rare. Even the numerous wind turbines were completely still. This phenomenon allowed wisps of low-lying clouds to cling to the valleys lining the gorge, which was a unexpected treat to see.
We wanted to cross the country as quickly as reasonably possible, so there was no time for side trips. We had lunch in Pendleton, Oregon at Dickey’s Barbecue. This is a Texas-based chain of stores, and as much as I try to steer clear of chains, I’ve got to say Dickey’s is pretty darn good. When you’re hungry for ‘cue, it’s a solid alternative for a grab-and-go meal.
Pendleton is a real Western cowboy kind of town, and home to the Pendleton Round-up, one of the top rodeo events in the world. There’s plenty of Western wear, boot stores, even a bootmaker and a saddle shop on the main street.
It’s a fine little town with plenty of character, and some handsome older homes which can be a rarity here in the West. If you’re in Oregon in mid-September, make a point to visit Pendleton during the Round-up.