Bend, Bonneville and Multnomah

The last leg of the trip to Seattle.

Trip Report:  20060802

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The Trip

We were really lucky to get a room at the Riverhouse Inn in Bend. The inn is on the Deschutes River and we had a private patio with a view. The objective of the day was to get from Bend, OR to Seattle in one hop. This was about 400 miles, which is pretty easy in one day provided that you do not stop too often or there are issues that arise. We did not plan on stopping at Bonneville, but rather planned on hitting Mt. St. Helens. But the dam was too tasty to pass up. In the end, we blew off St. Helens and decided to save it for another trip since it is withing pretty easy distance from Seattle. The photos below are what we saw.

The outdoor dining area at the Riverhouse Inn. This is the Deschutes river.

The hotel has rooms on both sides of the river, so they also have a bridge to allow guests to cross easily.

When I saw this double tanker parked out in front of the IHop, I did a double take. It seemed to be pumping something into tanks at the IHop. What?? Maple syrup? Grease? Coffee? I am no priss when it comes to eating, but this was too weird (even for me), so I asked the gas station attendant and he stated that the filling ports for the station were across the street. So, the truck is delivering gas rather than bulk maple syrup. Besides, the gas comes free with the food at IHop.

As we were driving north, we spotted this fire, so I shot it while driving. That is Mt. Hood in the distance.

Another view of Mt. Hood.

A small town on the banks of the Deschutes River.

We finally made it to the Columbia River and stopped at a rest area downriver from The Dalles. Here is a view of the river and an island in it. Note the navigation beacon on the island for ship traffic.

An old turbine blade at the visitor's center at the Bonneville Dam.

The spillway at Bonneville. Contrary to popular belief, there are no turbines here, the powerhouse is about a 1/2 mile away in a different segment of the river.

A decommissioned rotor from the excitor generator used to "prime" the coils.

One of the turbine blades. This whole assembly turns in the housing. The turning is used to keep the rotational speed of the turbine constant. The pitch of the blades is controled by a servo assembly that includes the head of the dam and the current water flow. This bad boy is 22,000 pounds and it is only one of the blades on the assembly.

One of the turbine assemblies under repair.

Several workers tending to one of the turbine blade assemblies.

A scale model of the new and improved turbine blade design.

The forebay of the powerhouse at Bonneville.

Multnomah Falls. This set of falls comes from the cliff high above the freeway.

A view of the lower falls.


A shot of our table at the Multnomah Lodge. Dinner was pretty good considering it is a tourist stop.

I am somewhat of a train buff. They are large and embody a ton of practical engineering. There was a steel bridge right next to the lodge and when the trains went by, the noise was tremendous. Here I managed to get the front of one of the downhill trains which were much less noisy.

A final parting shot of the falls from the parking lot.


This was a great trip. But, it was long: 2,000 miles, but through some of the most awesome country possible. The balance of the trip to Seattle was standard freeway up I5 and was unremarkable. We had a great time and would look forward to doing this again. Particularly if we could spend more time checking out the local sights rather than just doing a drive-by.

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