The Columbia River

Rained all night with little chance of clearing so we packed up, took one run through the campground in case there might be a vacant site – there was not a single open site – I guess most people plan ahead on 3-day weekends, unlike us. Homeless, we headed out and east toward the tri-cities where I found there was a bike trail along the Columbia River.

We drove over White Pass, had not been that way for many, many years and I had forgotten how really beautiful it was; we really enjoyed the drive until we saw brake lights, flashing lights and a medivac helicopter. There were a few cars stopped ahead of us and as we neared the flagger we noted the helicopter lining up to land on the roadway. We were allowed to pass, the last vehicle and as we did a terrible accident scene came into view, a pickup truck with the cab completely crushed. I felt instantly ill knowing there could not be a good outcome.

We continued to drive east and about 10 minutes later, as we continued down the mountain, we saw an ambulance driving up with lights and sirens.  It is heartbreaking to think about how some family has had their lives shattered today. Rattled we continued on, marveling at the simple beauty of the scenery yet sobered by the devastating scene of the accident.

Two days later as I write this I am still feeling overwhelmed by the violence of the accident scene.

Angry Sky

Angry Sky

Highway over White Pass

Highway over White Pass

Driving into Richland I begin googling hotels and find one on the Columbia River, the Marriott. Chances are slim as on-line they show that all room are booked but I hold on to the thought they always keep a few rooms open for transients so we drive up and go in. Inquiring about a room, yes, they do have one for the night, not river view but we aren’t picky, we’ve been without a shower for 4 days anything is good! Indeed, a nice room overlooking the city, a hot shower and all is well with the universe. To make a quick night of it we go down to the bar and order a simple dinner and wine, served on the terrace overlooking the river . . . heaven!

Sunset on the Columbia

Sunset on the Columbia

 

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