Friday, July 20, 2007: Today was a driving day. Things started nicely, with a stop in Ochoco National Forest. I then drove on to the Painted Hills Unit of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument where I walked a couple of trails and took photos of painted hills.
I had planned to visit the Clarno Unit also, but decided I didn't really have time. There were too many miles ahead of me. I drove on through the dry lands to the Columbia Gorge.
The revised plan called for driving part of the north side of the gorge. I briefly considered heading on to Yakima and approaching Rainier from that direction. It may have been a mistake to reject that.
I stopped a number of places in the gorge to view the scenery. As I headed west, it started to rain a bit. In view of the weather, I decided my planned route to Rainier using Forest Service roads might not be a good choice. Instead, I would continue to the end of the gorge and take the interstate north.
It rained most of the time I was on the interstate. It continued to rain as I turned on to US-12 and later SR-7 and SR-406 to Ashford, where I arrived around 6pm. The drive through Yakima may not have been any shorter, but it would have been drier!
Jasmer's Rainier Cabins, Ashford, WA