To say that western Oregon is beautiful sells the landscape a little short. To say that it is beautiful, wonderful, marvelous, beautiful, striking and beautiful does not quite capture it adequately. Try and throw in a few more beautifuls, a few gasps, some ooh and ahhhs, and you might have a chance of coming close.
But probably not.
We drove eastward in the trustworthy, formerly white and now gray Chevy Impala following the Snake River. Rolling mountains which had turned a brownish sort of beige-y green (the kind that happens when grass is getting ready for the winter) surrounded us on either side. There were hardly any trees; the mountainside was populated solely with grasses and hardy bushes. Every once in a while a giant black rock face broke up the gentle hills with its craggy piles of boulders, but the contrast in the landscape just made it seem that more amazing.
We made most of the trip along the expansive Snake River in silence, looking out the windows. "Rhapsody in Blue" came on in the car, and the music swells seemed to fit perfectly with the majestic scenery. I think we might have mentioned this before nearly every week in some way shape or form, but the landscapes are what make the roadtrip. Everything seems all right when you are driving 350 miles through wonderful wilderness--except for that long stretch of northern Nevada.
The Interstate eventually turned off into a two-lane highway, and for a few minutes, we could make out the smallish hills and canyons on our way to Pullman. But it quickly grew dark outside--pitch black by 6 p.m.--so all we had to look at were the oncoming brights of the cars in front of us.
And, of course, as soon as we crossed the state line into Washington, the rain started.