Random observations in no particular order:
- I last drove I-84 east of Pendleton just under 26 years ago, when I was moving to the Northwest for the first time.
- I remember the countryside around Meacham was the last place that appeared halfway decent before I descended into the Columbia Basin. This time, that same region struck me pretty much the same way.
- Then, I was filled with dread at having to live in that unappealing place. Now, I’m glad I don’t live there anymore.
- The Columbia Basin may not be that appealing a place for me to live in, but the views of it as one descends into Pendleton are great.
- The Old Emigrant Hill Road is a much-recommended alternative to the freeway grade on Cabbage Hill, provided you’re not in a big hurry. It has plenty of big looping curves to give one great views of the basin below and almost no traffic. Heading west, the exit to take is well-marked. Heading east, take the exit for the casino but drive past the casino and down the hill, then turn right at the blinking light.