We departed at 8.51 am. It was raining. Back on Highway 84 we sat on 60 mph. There was quite a crosswind.
We crossed into Idaho at 9.14 am and we noticed our speedo over-reads – not much, 60 mph reads 62 mph. We knew the correct speed from the GPS. Isn’t modern technology incredible? Imagine our speed is being measured by time from satellite at thousands of kilometres away in space also doing thousands of kilometres per hour, but in different directions.
|Snow covered hills beside the highway|
We had been driving past marginal farmland, but soon we were in the rich prairies. There were large irrigators and it was obviously productive cropping land. Huge trucks were driving past us at 60 mph. We have never seen so many trucks in our life. It’s obvious that the United States is an incredibly wealthy country and spends most of its time shipping goods from one side of the country to the other. With all the trucks around, we decided to stop at the Flying Jay Truck Stop for a cup of American coffee and hot chips (not good for our waistlines).
The fuel was down to $2.53 per US gallon – not bad.
We were on the road again at 11.35 am in light rain on 84 West. It’s interesting how there are different road rules in the different States and different speeds for trucks as well. Idaho seems to be a State that loves lots of rules. There were railway lines beside us and also fibre optic cables. Obviously there must be a fibre optic network stretching many times from one side of the country to the other. That’s how all that data at such low cost is getting around.
On the speedo there is a unit saying that we were getting 12.8 miles per gallon, but later we calculated we got about 12 miles per gallon.
We were soon into the silo country.
We crossed the Snake River and dropped down to Glen’s Ferry where the Oregon Trail crossed.
|a huge silo appeared to be in the middle of the road - just an optical illusion as the road turned left soon after I took this photo|
The Information Centre was closed but we went down and looked at one of the old ferries that were used to cross the river.
|Dick beside the old barge on the Oregon Trail|
We were now down to 2,500 ft above sea level and we were seeing our first green grass.
We went past Boise and crossed into Oregon at the town of Ontario at 3.15 pm. It was now sunny and we dropped to 2,134 ft. It was 64°C outside. There were even more signs – even a fine for not wearing a helmet on your bike, for not wearing a seat belt, and a sign stating “Unlawful to use left lanes.”
|The first green hills we saw|
We were now following the Snake River. It was going to be our long driving day and Pip estimated that at 2.40 pm we were about half way to Portland.
|Old factory in ruins beside the highway|
This was not really part of our “around the world trip” – we simply had to ferry the vehicle from Denver to Tacoma but we were really enjoying our time. Many trucks have the Wal-Mart brand, or Swift, on them.
Out of Baker City, Pip took a beautiful photograph of puffy clouds and snowy mountains.
|Fluffy white clouds|
We passed the 45th Parallel. Yes, that’s half way between the Equator and the North Pole.
We noted that the 45th Parallel in Australia crosses down below Tasmania.
Pip drove for two hours and we came off the road looking for an RV park. At one stage Pip’s mind jumped back to driving on the left hand side of the road. As she started to drive to the left we saw a huge truck coming towards us, fortunately at least half a kilometre away, and pulled over to the right.
Dick then took over the driving and did exactly the same thing. We decided we should retire for the day and we should find somewhere to park.
We parked beside the Snake River at Lake Umatilla in an RV park – our first one!
|RV Park beside the lake|
We were now only 240 ft above sea level and on the path of Lewis and Clark on the Columbia River.
Dick went walking (in the dark) around the town to get some exercise and Pip cleaned up the Earthroamer and got dinner ready. We watched a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie on the 199 channel satellite TV. We covered 520 miles in the day and we planned never to travel this far in one day again. We were pretty tired! It rained during the night.
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