WEEK 2: RUN-WALK-BIKE ACROSS AMERICA 2018 STARTS TOMORROW
Segment 3: Hood River OR to WA
Segment 4: Prosser WA to Walla Walla WA
This week the route continues to follow the Columbia River, crossing into Washington State and heading north. (The image above is from an area farther west along segment 2 of the route, not this week, but it helps us visualize this region and important river.)
According to a Wikipedia entry, the Columbia River Gorge is a canyon of the Pacific Northwest United States which “stretches for over 80 miles” as it flows across the Cascade Mountains. You can see by the segment maps that it forms the state-line boundary between Oregon and Washington.
The entry also says that this “water gap furnishes the only navigable route” through this mountain range, bringing water from drier eastern grasslands, over transitional woodlands, to the temperate rain forest of the western slopes, on its way to the Pacific Ocean.
The different climates of these regions lead to dramatic scenery changes over the short WEST TO EAST distance of 80 miles along interstate I-84, the highway the route follows, until we make our way north into Washington.
Because of differences in atmospheric pressures across the Cascade Mountains, between the wet windward and dry leeward regions, the gorge creates a ‘wind tunnel effect’ that draws windsurfing and kitesurfing enthusiasts as well as other recreational sports-minded visitors. Like our virtual selves on the Across America route!
I googled "movies filmed in Oregon", thinking I could better picture this part of the nation if I had seen a movie that featured its best scenery. There was a long list on Wikipedia, including "Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey" in the Columbia River Gorge. There were many, many more. The "Twilight" series, more recently in theaters and well known, was filmed in Portland and other OR locations.
The route through Washington into the cities of Prosser and Walla Walla will be taking us into one of this state’s wine making regions, known as the Columbia Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA). According to Wikipedia, this ‘wine country’ is situated within the same latitude lines as the famous French Bordeaux and Burgundy regions. In this northern location, these vineyards receive two hours of added daylight during the summer growing season, compared with the wine regions of California. There are other reported advantages that the area soil contributes to the winemaking process.
Perhaps a great reason to sample some Columbia Valley wines this week!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
Image top: Snottywong - Own work
A view of the Columbia River Gorge from the near the top of Hamilton Mountain, looking south from the Washington state side of the gorge. On the left side of the image, the Bonneville Dam is visible. On the left-center is the small town of North Bonneville. Behind the hills in the center of the image, the peak of Mt. Hood is just barely visible. The large rock at the river's edge on the right side is Beacon Rock.
NOTE: Our travels though the country will allow us to learn more about the history of Native Americans, much of which is a story of forced removal from familiar lands and resettlement into reservation lands which were then reduced in size. North and west of the Segment 3 route, in Washington state, is the Yakama Reservation, home to the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. Farther north is the land of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. Official websites, Wikipedia, and a newsletter provide additional information about the origins, culture, and modern-day activities of Native Americans who inhabited this beautiful land. Most of the information provided in this blog is from Wikipedia entries.
South and west of the Segment 4 route is the city of Kennewick WA, the largest municipality of the Tri-cities region (with Pasco and Richland). The name might be familiar to some. The skeletal remains of the prehistoric Kennewick Man were discovered on a nearby bank of the Columbia River in 1996. A Wikipedia entry indicates that difficulties in accurately dating these remains led to controversy surrounding the rights to the remains, between scientists, who thought they weree more primitive and not related to modern day Native Americans, and the region’s tribes. In 2017, by Congressional legislation, the bones were returned to a coalition of Colville, Yakama Nation, and other tribes for proper burial.
NOTE: Check out the ACROSS AMERICA IN PHOTOS page
Go to the RESOURCES page for Itinerary, Calendar, Segment Maps
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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