The reasons for the drive were twofold. First, to get me out in about in an area of Washington I am not very familiar with. Up to 3 weeks ago, I had very little experience(none) in what joys South East Washington held. Second, and kind of tied in with the first, we were going to swing through some of the fields north of Walla Walla, and get up in to the Blue Mountains a bit to see if we could find any fields with an excess of deer in them. Currently, we are in between deer seasons, with muzzleloader wrapping up last week, and modern not opening until next weekend, so while we couldn't shoot anything, seeing deer and getting to learn where they hang out is always worthwhile.
Due to too much imbibing on the part of myself and my coworker last night, we didn't really get on the road until 9:15. We then headed out of the Tri-Cities due east on route 124, heading through the burgeoning Metropolis's of Prescott and Waitsburg(I am maligning these fair towns...both very cute, very well-maintained Small Towns). and then getting on US 12 north of Walla Walla and heading into Dayton, Washington.
Dayton was also a very cute town, and has a few antique stores I feel I am destined to bring my wife to. We then headed southeast out of town, and were very quickly into wheat fields, and then a short time later into the northern foothills of the Blue Mountains.
Nice area...more of a dry pine forest feel to them instead of the thick pine forests of the west Cascade slopes. Some very nice views...unfortunately, my cell-phones camera is very inadequate at taking picture of sprawling grandeur, so you are going to have to take my word for it. We actually got out and walked around a bit. Saw no deer or elk, but did see some poop, so they are at least in the neighborhood.
Headed back into Dayton for another pit stop, and then headed north on 12, up across the Snake River, then caught 26, heading back west to Route 395, and then back south to Pasco. It was a very nice drive...rolling wheat fields where farmers were hard at work trying to get their Winter Wheat plots in, vineyards...very nice. Kind of what we are lead to believe is 'Gods' Country. Lots of big sky.
I continue to be amazed by how varied things are in Washington. As some one who spent a number of years in New England, it is very tough to believe as I go from Belfair to the Tri-cities that I am in the same state. Just so much amazing, different, and all beautiful in it's own way terrain. We are truly blessed(and spoiled).
Many of the areas I saw today will require further investigation as deer hunting areas. This year,
The final stop for the day on my bosses fuel was a store called Country Mercantile
Terribly interesting store. Kind of a farm stand on steroids. Huge variety of chocolates, fudge, different pickled things(asparagus and green beans are what I bought today), salsa, dips, meat, produce, some knick-knacks. This time of year there is a pumpkin patch and corn maze.
I can see this store costing me a pretty penny in the foreseeable future.