August 4, 2017.
Somehow, we were ahead of schedule. Having made it 15 or so miles past Kamela the evening before, that meant we had only about 85 miles to the end of the OBDR for our final day. That was fine with us because we woke up to pea-soup levels of smoke - enough to completely obscure Summerville in the valley below our middle-of-the-road camp.
We rolled out of camp early, heading down our ridge on our way through the last of the Blue Mountains on our way to Walla Walla.
Travel today would be on the easy side - no extreme roads, river fords, or “off-map” GPS tracks to follow. It was as if, as the original OBDR planners made the route, they had been “ready to be done” as they neared the Washington border.
The road up to High Ridge Lookout was gated and locked, but as we drove by on a nearby trail we were able to spot the occupant on the catwalk keeping an eye on things.
And then, we reached our final descent. It was long, following the folds of the mountainside.
On our way down, we passed an F150 parked in the middle of the road airing up. When we stopped to make sure the driver was OK, we confirmed that he was; he was fixing his third flat in a week from the same stretch of road. Ack!
And then, we arrived at the end of the OBDR and the Oregon - Washington border. A non-descript section of road, where the gravel transitioned to pavement, we couldn't believe we were done. 850 miles of Oregon backroads, less than 50 of which were on pavement, and with relatively few problems.
Back in Washington, it was time - for the first time in a 7 days! - to air back up. And when we found another Tacoma parked 50 feet into Washington, we knew that was as good a place as any. Plus, there was a nice spot of shade 🙂 ...
It was a trip, and adventure, and an experience that we're sure to remember for years to come.