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Day two actually got us to our destination, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in south east Oregon. It is world renowned for its wetlands that attract migrating and nesting birds by the thousands. It is also a magnet for birders. We found that cell reception in this remote area was excellent and this proved to be a boon for interesting bird sightings. Rarity reports were quickly shared via the internet thanks to smart phones and other technology. But first, we had to get there. And as usual, the weather wasn’t the best.

 

This big fella is in Umatilla, Oregon. We were looking for a breakfast spot when a kindly local police officer stopped us and suggested going on to Hermiston or Pendleton if we were serious about food. Also, he gave Ken a warning and we were headed down the road again.

 

Main Street Diner in Pendleton.

 

Tasty food and lots of intersting stuff to look at. The fellow in the black t shirt seemed to be both the owner and server.

 

I think Pendleton might have lots of intersting old buildings, if you like that kind of stuff.

 

 

A pretty wild pea or vetch growing alongside the road.

 

I wonder why this old Umatilla school bus was left to decay in the woods south of Pendleton?

 

You’d think if the guy was buying the things, he’d know that they are antlers and not horns.

 

Snowy Egrets in a flooded field in the town of John Day.

 

Raining hard at Malheur NWR. We put up camp in ten minutes.

 

The evening was quite pleasant, if a little on the cold side. The snow in the background is on the flanks of Steens Mountain, rising to over 9000′ elevation. Malheur is at about 4100′ – the high cold desert of Oregon.

 

The famous P Ranch of Malheur. Birders go here to see Bobolinks and other intersting bird species.

 

We got off to a late start on our honeymoon road trip on Tuesday the 24th. Once on the road we made good time, getting into Oregon, just across the Columbia for our first camp. As has been the trend this spring, it was colder than expected.

Methow Valley

One of the Methow crossings

 

The mouth of the Okanogan River

 

Chief Joseph Dam spilling water on the Columbia.

 

Driving through Douglas County’s dryland wheat fields.

 

A rest stop at Dry Falls for an update on local geology.

 

On the road again driving through the Grand Coulee.

 

Uh oh, stop lights.

 

Driving through irrigated agriculture fields

 

You have to drive through some not so pretty industrial areas to get to the good stuff.

 

Crossing the Columbia River for the third time.

 

Sunset and a family of Canada Geese on the Columbia.

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