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Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Oldest Rodeo is in Cleveland // Hood River & Rowena Crest

City of Cleveland, in the state of Washington

Saturday August 13, 2016: Day 6 Summer 2016 RV Trip
Hood River - Rowena Crest - Cleveland, WA 

Where the Hood River flows into the Columbia

After our hike and drive around Mt. Hood and before we crossed the state line to visit Cleveland, we set up camp in the town of Hood River,  The Columbia River Gorge is amazing.  The scenic highway parallels I-84 and heads east from Portland, just north of Mt. Hood.  We traveled that route a few years back but never quite made it to Hood River; well here we are.

The small town was quaint and surprisingly inviting.  However, rather than stop at a bar or dine with my wife, the RV made it's way to the water where, once again, the kids went in.

We hung out here for several hours, ate dinner and then cranked the motor - I had Cleveland on my mind.  Rather than taking the freeway though, we took the scenic route.  Being that I drove most of the scenic highway to the west last time, my hope was that the eastern roadway would be similar.  But, it wasn't.  No waterfalls, no trails, but we did summit at:

Rowena Crest

We got here just before sundown, so it worked out pretty well, except for the kids not getting along.  It was like a less than desirable episode of Dr. Phil, but we won't let that bring us down...

Pretty neat viewpoint, good timing...  Well, let's keep driving; hopping on I-84.  We exited off a couple times, drove through some cities.  Always interesting to do that.  As night overtook day, across the River we see:

Looks like it might have been a controlled burn, but maybe not?  The shot was zoomed in far, past the Columbia.

We finally crossed the bridge into Washington State, and elevation climb we did.  I could see Mt. St. Helens, I believe.  Too dark to know for certain, but the shadow dominance was there.  This creepy drive was neat in the dark, scary and narrow - imagine would have been sick views in the day light.  Hmm, may need to come through this way again some day.  If I do, I would plan it on the 2nd weekend of June when Cleveland holds it's rodeo!

Cleveland, Washington

Cleveland is located in Klickitat County at an elevation as around 3,000 feet.  It was settled in 1879 by Ripley Dodge, who named it for the city of his native state -Ohio. (Ah, me and Ripley have lots in common).  I could not discover the population of Cleveland, but it doesn't look to be like many live here.  Not much in the way of surrounding communities either, except for Bickleton which is 10 miles away.  It was like an hour+ drive in the dark with nothing until this little gem was discovered.  No stop sign or stop light - don't blink or you will miss.  

Cleveland & Bickleton are basically in the middle of nowhere, halfway between I-84 and  I-82.  There would be no reason for any normal human being to ever have the need to drive through here.  If for instance you wished to drive to Yakima, Washington, one would take Route 97 to the west through Goldendale or merge on I-82 from I-84 to the east. 

Cleveland contains an old cemetery and a rodeo, which is the oldest in the state. There is also said to be a 100 year old Spillman Carousel.  
Cleveland's most famous grandson was William O Douglas, the longest sitting member of the US Supreme Court. His family moved from California to Cleveland before settling in Yakima, Washington.

It was the middle of the night, Jess and Marissa remained asleep in the RV as Ayden, Donnie and I explored the Rodeo grounds.  The bleachers looked old and dilapidated and there were no animals around.  Its crazy that this place only exists for one weekend a year, but I presume others locally find uses for it - maybe? 

There are 28 Cities named Cleveland in America.  I just discovered this fact at this website:

Cleveland, Washington is now my 8th official visit to Cleveland, USA.  Every time I plan a trip to a new state, I am looking for Cleveland...

Friday, September 16, 2016


Mirror Lake - Mt. Hood
Saturday August 13, 2016: Day 6 Summer 2016 RV Trip
Mirror Lake - Mt. Hood

Mirror Lake Trailhead
I love this area.  A few years back we drove along the scenic route and captured many waterfalls in the rain.  Take a glance:

Today, we were ready for a hike...

This one starts with some switchbacks into the thick forest.  If I recall, the lake is less than 2 miles from the trailhead and perhaps, 1000 foot elevation gain.  There is a longer option to jump up and over the lake, but today we kept it simple...

Tom Dick Harry Mountain - Trail

The Tom Dick Harry Mountain Trail is said to offer awesome views of Mt. Hood.  I would say, maybe next time, but I think not.  We were so unimpressed by the dirty lake that I highly doubt we will ever be back...

Really, the water is stagnant and dirty (muddy).  In part I would say its due to it being summer, less rain and snow drip...  Many hikers stop at the first beach spot, which by the way is not much of a beach and is rocky.  From there, you will not even see Mt. Hood.  Loop around the lake to capture the view...

Our round trip for this hike was less than 2 hours.  With plenty of day left, my initial goal was to drive up closer to Mt. Hood, intersect the PCT Trail at Bald Mountain.  However, no one was really feeling it, the road seemed narrow and I already had one bad experience on this trip with narrow roads.  I do plan to return, hike Bald Mountain and for sure at some point, Hike Mt. Hood, the highest peak in Oregon!

A view from our drive - heading around the mountain towards Hood River, Oregon.  Hmm, maybe we'll make Cleveland tonight - Cleveland, WA...

Pac 10? - Eugene - Corvallis - Salem

Salem - Capitol of Oregon

NIGHT WALK 1.59 MI ON 8/12/2016


28 ft

Eugene, OR, United States
Jeremy Jacobus Best Time: 45:20
This is a 1.59 mi route in Eugene, OR, United States. The route has a total ascent of 28.91 ft and has a maximum elevation of 452.72 ft. 

We left the Cleveland Cemetery and drove north.  Initially we were looking for a spot to chill out in the Umqua River, in Cleveland, OR, but since the evening was upon us, we meandered our way to Eugene...

Map Options

Voodoo Doughnuts
We first found out about this place many years ago in Portland, OR:

We were thinking about going into Portland on our trip this time as well, specifically for Voodoo Donuts, but Jess searched it on the internet and discovered one in Eugene!  All locations are open 24 hours!  However, this spot was dirty - junky -eew, but didn't stop us from eating some donuts!

So, this walk around Eugene was interesting.  The city was bigger than I thought - kind of like a mini Portland.  Our perception of this place was, well - dirty.  It was busy - some sort of street festival happening here.  Narrow streets, brick layered crosswalks - homeless central.  The stench from some shirtless hooligans smelled like cadavers roaming nomads.  Not sure if that makes sense,but you feel me.  Perhaps it's because I'm a Big 10 guy displaced here in Pac 10 - or is it 12 now, region?

Summary, Eugene is not a place I would recommend, but - they do have a College with a notable track team.  We drove from the downtown area to the campus of Oregon University:

Go Ducks - Boo...
I will say, Steve Prefontaine was a running inspiration for me.  If you have not seen the movie, Without Limits, it is a Must See, especially if you are a runner.  And, this is where he ran:

Saturday August 13, 2016: Day 6 Summer 2016 RV Trip
Corvallis - Oregon State University

That next morning we drove to another Pac Something Team school and I took my usual solo walk, this time around the stadium...

Map Options

Reser Stadium - Oregon State University
I was looking for a way in, but could not find one.  They were working on the stadium and by the time I got back towards the RV, I saw Donnie through the fence!  How did he get in there?  He told me he snuck through a fence:

It was a much different vibe here at OSU, no, Not The Ohio State University, but, Oregon State.  The town was nothing like Eugene.  Whereas Eugene is an urban city - Corvallis is a rural suburb situated between Salem and Eugene...

Off to Salem, Oregon; State Capitol...

It's Day 6 of our trip but yet so much to still do!  At this pitstop we walked around a Farmers Market for a while, tried out some food.  Other than the blogpost title picture of the Capitol, the only other picture I chose to share is:

There was one more white fluffy furball that didn't make the cup.  I guess I was looking for witches in Salem.  Instead, we stopped at many of the food vendors and I even had a few shots of Jack!  Yay!

Now that we were all warmed up, onward to the Mt. Hood area!    


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