A Change Of Scenery

 Posted by at 3:13 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 122013

We were up at 7 a.m. yesterday morning and ready to roll a little after 9 even though we planned a relatively short driving day. I hope this early morning stuff doesn’t become a habit, because I already have enough bad habits to deal with.

The 53 miles of U.S, Highway 12 between Kamiah and Lewiston, Idaho offer some of the spectacular scenery you’ll find anywhere as it parallels the wild and scenic Clearwater River.

Clearwater 2

Clearwater 4


I wish we could have been out on the water in our Sea Eagles with these kayak fishermen. Catching a fish from my kayak is on my bucket list.


Unfortunately, the road is pretty narrow along this stretch of river, with no shoulder and only a few places to pull over, so I didn’t get to see as much as I would have liked to. But Miss Terry was busy with her camera saving memories for me.

Motorhome on US 12

We crossed into Washington state and the terrain seemed to change almost instantly, with rough barren hillsides replacing the heavy forest cover in Idaho.

Washington terrain

Then we entered the southern edge of the Palouse wheat country, where the fields looked almost sculpted and the contrasts in colors were dramatic. Some of the cultivated hillsides were so steep that we wondered how farmers could work them with their huge tractors and combines.

Palouse 2

Palouse 3


Sculpted fields2

We had thought about stopping for the night at the Elks lodge in Walla Walla, 165 miles from Kamiah. But it was 96 degrees and I wasn’t sure what kind of electrical power they had in their RV sites or if it could handle our Winnebago’s basement air conditioner. So we went to Plan B. (Always have a Plan B.)

A few miles east of Walla Walla we stopped at the Whitman Mission National Historic Site, where missionaries Marcus and Narcissa Whitman attempted to bring Christianity to the Cayuse and Umatilla Indians who called this land home. Unfortunately, though the Indians welcomed them at first, the clash of cultures and beliefs, coupled with a series of diseases that decimated the tribes, led to hard feelings and distrust on both sides. On November 29, 1847, the Whitmans and eleven others were killed, leading to a series of violent clashes and reprisals and the eventual defeat of the Indians and the loss of most of their lands. I’ll have a feature story on the Whitman Mission in an upcoming issue of the Gypsy Journal.

Whitman Mission sign

Back on the road, we crossed into Oregon and within an hour or so we arrived at Pioneer RV Park in Hermiston, 225 miles after we started out. This very clean and friendly campground is a Passport America affiliate and was a welcome change after the last two nights we spent at Lewis/Clark in Kamiah. The difference in the two is like night and day.

Winnie at Pioneer Park

As we went back out to our motorhome after we registered a car stopped and blog readers Julie and Doug Livingston introduced themselves. They are headed for a workamping volunteer gig on an island in Puget Sound. Everywhere we go we run into old friends or make new ones!

Today we will drive west along the Columbia River to Vancouver, Washington where we will spend a few days at the Elks lodge. Traci Tyne Hilton, author of the great Mitzy Neuhaus mystery series, lives in Vancouver and I’m looking forward to meeting her in person after a long internet friendship. And I’ve never been to the famous Powell’s Books in Portland, a shortcoming of mine I hope to put an end to while we’re in the area.

Thought For The Day – Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please. – Mark Twain

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  3 Responses to “A Change Of Scenery”

  1. How does Miss Terry get so many beautiful pictures? Mine are always blurry or have a telephone pole in the middle of them.

  2. John, the secret is to take a LOT of pictures. She took 0ver 370 on the trip yesterday alone. Of course, it also helps that she has a good eye for what will look good.

  3. Nick, you and Terry are headed into my old stomping grounds. As you drive through the Columbia River Gorge, wave to my mom in the little town of Stevenson across from Cascade Locks, Or. Great museum in Stevenson – Powell’s Book Store is a great place – make sure you check out VooDoo Donuts while you are in Portland.

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