As I mentioned in my previous post, we wanted to make an early start today, so we asked around about a good place to get breakfast early. The Ski Inn opens at 0600. I expected a kind of ski-chalet theme because of, oh, I don’t know… the name? Instead, we found a country-themed classic American diner. Country music, laminated framed pictures of wolves and deer on the walls. Two pictures of John Wayne, but none of Elvis Presley – although there were two empty spaces where they had sold something. However, they were open, the food was good, the service was friendly and the other customers were nice. There was a tiny problem with Caroline’s omelet, which they fixed, and then they insisted on taking it off the bill anyway.
After brekky, we drove most of the way back to the hotel and picked up the Sisters trail, a hiking path that wanders through the ponderosa forest. Unpaved and dusty, but well marked. Also very level. Plenty of tracks, including horse and bicycle, but for the first time we met no other users at all. We did see lots of mule deer. They aren’t quite as nonchalant about humans as the urban deer in Kenora, but we got close enough that I was watching for signs that any of them might have a fawn nearby. None of them seemed particularly skittish, so I guess not.
Made a pit stop at Ray’s grocery and bought a slightly larger cooler. Also got myself a road coffee at a real Espresso shack instead of my usual lobby coffee. It took ten times longer, cost infinitely more and wasn’t better at all.
Dingbat had one of his off days today. When we stopped for lunch at a park, he didn’t recognize the layout of the driveways and concluded that we hadn’t arrived; when we left, he let us run ten minutes down the interstate to the next overpass and then tried to turn us back to try again. We caught on and reprogrammed him just in time.
Took a slightly different route to Walla Walla (and here’s a link to MapBlast for those of you that have no idea where we are) so that we could keep Mount Hood and Mount Rainier in sight instead of just droning across the high plains of eastern Oregon. Easy run up the Columbia River (on the Interstate this time) and then a little zig-zag to cross the river and pop into Walla Walla via some wineries that we like. Dingbat was convinced the hotel was on the other side of the road and announced that it was on our right. We decided that he’s dyslexic, but that if Caroline drove, it would all balance out and we’d do just fine.