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The Drive back to Portland 6/20/2011

by Chris Guenzler

I got up early and put up the Yakima Trolley Story on I sent Steve Grande an E-mail about the other two stories before I check out of the Pasco Motel 6. I went to Kennewick to MacDonald's for Hot Cakes and sausage then went across the street to Safeway for some goodies. I took Interstate 82 south to Washington Highway 18 for my trip along the North Bank of the Columbia River. I just missed an eastbound BNSF grain train so I continued west. Further along I saw another eastbound BNSF freight so I pulled off. I set up and the camera didn't work. I turned around drove and got ahead of him again and the same thing. Back into the car, got ahead of him again and no luck.

I did get the camera working but not the shot I wanted. I had called Amtrak learning the Empire Builder was running over five hours late. So I continued west to just beyond Bates and pulled off and parked hoping for another BNSF eastbound.

The shot I wanted a train in.

The view across the Columbia River into Oregon.

The first UP eastbound of the morning.

A westbound UP train heading towards Portland.

A barge on the Columbia River.

Another UP westbound.

Never a train when you need one. From here I headed west but saw a sign which made me pull off to investigate.

The American Stonehenge in Maryhill, Washington, An almost identical copy of the more famous English Stonehenge, it was built by Sam Hill, a road builder, as a memorial to those who died in World War I. Dedicated in 1918, the memorial wasnít completed until 1930. Hill passed away soon after he finally saw his masterpiece completed. He was buried at the base of the bluff; but, because he wished to be left alone, there is no easy path to his resting place. The project began when Hill was mistakenly informed that the original Stonehenge had been used as a sacrificial site. He thus constructed his replica as a reminder that "humanity is still being sacrificed to the god of war. The dedication plaque on this American Stonehenge reads: "In memory of the soldiers of Klickitat County who gave their lives in defense of their country. This monument is erected in the hope that others inspired by the example of their valor and their heroism may share in that love of liberty and burn with that fire of patriotism which death can alone quench." Sam Hillís Mansion, as well as the American Stonehenge, are now part of the Maryhill Museum of Art, which also includes monuments to the soldiers of Klickitat County who died in World War II, Korea, and Viet Nam.

The Stonehenge Sign.

The view from Stonehenge. I got back on the road and took another detour just over a mile way

The Maryhill Museum is a world-class collection of art ranging from early 20th century European works to an extensive Native American collection. Set in a castle-like chateau on a stunning 6,000-acre site overlooking the scenic Columbia River Gorge, Maryhill Museum is one of the Pacific Northwestís most fascinating cultural destinations and located just 100 miles east of Portland, Oregon. The museumís permanent collection includes more than 80 sculptures and watercolors by the French master Auguste Rodin, including the only pedestal-sized plaster version of his famous The Thinker, and much more. The art museum is housed in the Sam Hillís Mansion. From here I drove to Horsethief Lake State Park. The park contains Native American pictographs (paintings) and petroglyphs (carvings). Some of the oldest pictographs in the Northwest are found in this park.

These pictographs were really interesting to see but I had another reason for stopping here. Knowing that Amtrak would be coming by in less than an hour, I wanted to get a picture of it here.

The Turtle Cloud with its head out.

Horsethief Lake.

View of the Columbia River from Horsethief Lake State Park.

The reason I was here and now I waited for the Empire Builder.

The Empire Builder Train 27 running close to five hours late. Here I met some Railfans from New Zealand and I gave them my Washington State Map to assist them in chasing the SP 4449 tomorrow. From here I continued west towards Portland.

Two views of Mt Hood. I found another BNSF eastbound and turned around beating it to my photo location.

BNSF 5011 East running east of Bingen. I got back on the road.

Mt Hood through the Clouds. In Bingen they had the highway shut down due to a suspected package in town. They had us do a poorly run detour which wasted everyone's time and put all of us in danger had something gone off. I was glad to finally leave Bingen, Washington. I drove west to Stevenson and stopped at Subway for a very early dinner. In fact I was still eating when I pulled into the Columbia River Discovery Museum where I wanted to see my old friend.

Spokane Portland & Seattle F-unit 802.

Ex Great Northern Caboose. I got back on the road.

Beacon Rock. Later outside of Washougal the need fuel light came on. Knowing that meant I had about two gallons of fuel left I continued onward. I took Interstate 205 south into Oregon and got off at Gilsen Street and then turned onto 82nd Avenue to get to the Days Inn. I checked in then took the rental car back to the Airport. I took the Max Airport back to 82nd Avenue and walked back to my room. I finished this story then relaxed the night away.