The motel would have been except for the firefighters in the spa outside and the yapping dogs in the next room(s). Breakfast was the usual sad affair at the Best Western and this one did not fail to disappoint.
Plans have had to change as the webcam at Crater Lake shows nothing, the smoke from the fires has obscured the whole thing, just grey sludge. Also the rain here appears to be snow there and there is snow on the ground in their car park. Looks like a bust.
Plan B, developed on the spur of the moment, is to go backtrack and go north to Portland and through the Colombia River Gorge.
There are some dry periods but when it rains on the freeway it’s impossible to see anything with the spray from the trucks, not that this stops the loonies who are driving at well over the limit. Scary and not a lot of scope for photos.
We have a couple of detours in mind for Portland, one to a fireplace showroom (we have some renovations in mind) and to the Walmart Superstore. Both of these turn out to be busts too, the first as it looks like a mail order warehouse and is firmly locked with no showroom, and the second as it’s another Mecca for the homeless. In all Portland is a disappointment.
The final straw is that highway I-85 East is closed because of the fires so we have to take the historic route 30 through the Columbia Gorge, no problem excerpt that too turns out to be closed and we are into backroads for the next several hours.
The locals are not keen on diversion signs - there aren't any.
Finally after what seems a very long time we arrive in the Celilo motel in The Dalles east of the gorge. A very quick turn around and drive back into town to the Baldwin saloon for a very welcome dinner. It’s still raining.