Travelog of Eastern Washington, 2013

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Domination of Eiler Journal #26: Inland Offensive against Washington
May 2013

Background. Stragetic points in the State of Washington submitted to the Domination of Eiler in the Continental Offensive of 2010. Eastern parts of the state are now within range for a land operation of the Domination. Exotic points such as Lewiston-Idaho are also within range.

This may not sound exciting to the typical traveller. But the southeastern boundaries of Washington provide attractions such as Fort Walla Walla and an active nuclear reservation. It is also rich in brewpubs. The rest of the state has at least a few spectacular river views.

So: Eastern Washington! Prepare to submit!

What Is the Domination of Eiler?

In one sense, "The Domination of Eiler" is a political entity modeled upon the Holy Roman Empire. Which is to say, it works through national and local political entities, but transcends nation-state boundaries. You may already be a citizen without knowing it!

In another sense, "The Domination of Eiler" is a pen name for an amateur but very prolific web journalist. Perhaps you may enjoy these travel writings, given this simple guide:

  • The Domination of Eiler is led by, of course, the Dominator.
  • The Domination has established its world headquarters in Bothell-Washington, and is actively expanding its holdings up and down the Pacific coast.
  • The Domination occasionally goes on week-long road trips. But the Domination philosophy is Dominate Global, Vacation Local.

  • A week has been allocated for this mission.

    Day 0: Friday 10 May 2013

    North Bend-Washington
    Eastward. But exasperating.

    The Domination of Eiler never starts a vacation at home. So, barracks in the town of North Bend, convenient to the best highway over the mountains.

    Excellent dinner at North Bend Bar and Grill. The Domination of Eiler didn't know anyone prepared Chicken Fried Prime Rib before tonight.

    Barracks at Sunset Motel, one of two Mom-and-Pop motels in town. Reasonable given you're paying for a spectacular mountain view, but no in-room amenities other than wi-fi and cable TV, and the management was stumped with their own parental controls. Meanwhile, the rest of town has no concept of decaf coffee after 9 pm.

    The online reviews of the hotels of North Bend are already controversial. The Domination of Eiler really wishes it could recommend this one, but it does vow not to stay there again unless all other options including neighboring towns are exhausted.

    Day 1: Saturday 11 May 2013

    Invasion Zone in the Tri-Cities.
    Wheel o' Gold Rush
    Old nuclear reactors are a big attraction. See also:
  • The Edge of Town
  • Made it out of North Bend in reasonable order. Temperatures above 90 Fahrenheit degrees over the mountains. A cold front is expected in two days, to bring the temperatures down twenty degrees to more seasonal temperatures. Meanwhile, the Domination's flagship vehicle has dysfunctional air conditioning; the last time it needed that function was three years ago. A simple recharge should do... in two days, when garages are open. Fortunately, the Domination plan for the Tri-Cities allows for no driving.

    • Barracks at Days Inn near downtown Richland, which seems most central to four brewpubs strung along the Columbia River. More expensive options abound with river views, but this one is plunk in the middle of downtown - such as downtown is. The strip malls start about two block west of the river.
    • Lunch at Atomic Ale Brewhouse and Eatery, which proudly has the ambiance of an old A&W root beer restaurant because that's what it was once. Family-friendly! Adult-hostile, at least during the lunch rush. But the blackberry wheat beer was at least blackberry-colored.
    • Nap time at barracks, to make up for some lack from North Bend.
    • Invigorating bike trip to dinner at Shrub Steppe Smokehouse Brewery outside town. Sanitary, childfree, and full of savory meat. Newly opened White Bluffs Brewery was in that same industrial park, and provided French-style farmhouse ale for dessert.

    Day 2: Sunday 12 May 2013

    Expansion in the Tri-Cities.
    Model of the Leaky Tanks
    A model of some of those famous leaky reactor tanks. See also:
  • What We Do With Unattended Children
  • Propaganda Cartooning in Wood
  • Apple Crouton Cobbler, Soon To Be Famous
  • The Nexus of the Tri-Cities, Visible Only By Bicycle
  • Kingdom-of-Heaven obeisance at the Unified Protestant church right outside the hotel room window. Pastor was refreshingly open-minded when preaching about women and mothers on Mothers' Day. (When writing to the church in Rome, the apostle Paul greeted about eighteen men, nine women, and only one known mother.)

    Temperatures in mid-80 degree range today. Though not optimal Domination temperature, this allowed for extended bike trip down river into Kennewick, home of two more breweries. Ice Harbor provided lunch, and Kimo's / Rattlesnake Mountain Brewing Company dessert. Ask them about the crouton pudding sometime, because they'll never serve it again!

    Back in Richland, Crehst Museum submitted town history. But it's really CREHST Museum: Columbia River Exposition of History, Science and Technology! A docent from the early Atomic Age gave a personal tour! Practically all of Richland was once barracks for the Manhattan Project and its follow-ons. People loved it here, but wondered what they'd do when the nation decided it didn't really need 22,000 plutonium warheads.

    Found one last Mexican restaurant for real dessert without Mothers' Day pre-humans, then retired to room to catch up on travelog. Internet (and even Cable TV) is spotty here, which is a shame. Otherwise the Domination of Eiler would be tempted to spend extra days in town(s) for a reactor tour and a trip to the town museum which features Kennewick Man! But no, let's just stick to the schedule.

    Day 3: Monday 13 May 2013

    Walla Walla-Washington - and Power City-Oregon!
    Not a very touristy day, but a very practical one.
    The Real Power City
    The real Power City near Umatilla-Oregon. See also:
  • Power City Dam
  • Power City Label
  • River Road
  • Escort Vehicle
  • Thirty-Three Mules
  • Refuge in the Rain
  • Broke loose from Richland-Washington shortly after 10 am. Tourist plague lifted, but at Days Inn, long-term redneck residents were in evidence when normal people were at work. Definitely time to change venue.

    Took a winding route out of the Tri-Cities, looking for automobile maintenance such that the Air Conditioner of Road Dominance might never fail again. The first place said Maybe, Leave Us Your Keys. The second said No, But We Can Give You An Oil Change. Neither approach was a successful business strategy.

    The Domination of Eiler therefore shifted back to tourist mode. The next target was Walla Walla-Washington, home of Fort Walla-Walla. This is one county line away from Richland-Kennewick. So an additional target was worth a side trip... Power City-Oregon!

    • Power City is a neighborhood of Umatilla-Oregon, near a hydroelectric dam. The Domination uncovered this place while researching places called Power City, because it writes the fictional adventures of the Powernaut which often happen in one such place.
    • And so the Domination of Eiler swarmed around the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers McNary Dam, the heart of the real Power City. This involved some hiking. But that was refreshing.

    Afterward, there was driving up a scenic highway. This land is known as the Columbia River Gorge. There was a travel roadblock due to road construction... but this involved friendly interaction with a construction worker who pointed out mountain goats! The Domination of Eiler did not choose to wage total road war against this obstruction to Dominance, because it does have a peacekeeping mission, and attempts to steal Monday tourism barely count as rebellion. Walla Walla itself would later prove that true, in a bizarre way.

    • The Domination's expeditionary force went looking for Fort Walla-Walla, and stopped for directions... at a fully functional automobile repair establishment! The Domination left its motor vehicle there, arranged for hotel room, went across the street to buy beef jerky for lunch, and mounted up on bicycle to conquer Fort Walla-Walla about a mile away.
    • Meanwhile, a much-welcome cold front was approaching. This manifested as heavy rain shortly after arrival at the fort!
    • The Fort Walla-Walla Museum and Pioneer Village was thankfully open even on Mondays. It has five exhibit halls in roughly the shape of half a fort. (The volunteer staff was dumbfounded when told, "$6 is awesome as admission price for a whole fort!" Now the Domination of Eiler knows why.) Artifacts, check. Pioneer village, check.
    • During continued heavy rain, the Domination's expeditionary force took refuge in a recreated wagon barn. There it checked weather radar, consumed beef jerky, used the jerky's plastic bag plus a gift shop paper bag to shelter the Conquering Cell Phone, and rode the one mile back to the auto shop as the rain lifted.
    • Car repaired on schedule. The Domination of Eiler therefore advanced in good form, 1.6 miles from outskirts to Fancy Hotel "Marcus Whitman" in downtown Walla-Walla. (After Days Inn of Tri-Cities, the Domination held out for fancy.)
    • Finally dinnertime! But brewery outlet and two other suitable outlets all closed Mondays. Dinner finally came from some sports pub. Dessert from Fancy Hotel lounge, along with finally functioning Internet, thanks.

    Day 4: Tuesday 14 May 2013

    Clarkston-Washington vs, Lewiston-Idaho
    Are twin cities enemies, or natural allies? Domination Frontline: Lewiston-Idaho
    Tin Cutout Lewis-and-Clark Camp
    Tin cutout Lewis and Clark historic campsite. See also:
  • Iron Sacajawea
  • C Stands for Clarkston
  • L Stands for Lewiston
  • The View from Lewiston's Best Hotel
  • After waking up in a Domination-grade room well away from rednecks and average tourists, it finally feels like vacation has started. The traffic in Walla Walla is mostly business. President Eisenhower stayed in Walla Walla while consecrating McNary Dam/Power City! Truly, no neighborhood nearer there could have held him.

    The target cities are Lewiston-Idaho and Clarkston-Washington. The drive there was 100 miles, filled with picture postcard landscapes. Before today, the Domination of Eiler would never have believed that rolling hills were actually landscaped in horizontal stripes.

    • The Domination's expedition got going too early... There would have been respectable targets along the way, had town museums not been closed on Tuesdays as well as Mondays. The expedition also missed one brewery just because their tasting room wasn't open at 10:30 am. But another submitted a ceremonial half-pint.
    • The landscape was also cluttered with historical landmarks of Lewis and Clark expedition (return trip) camps. One such landmark actually had silhouette statues set up, convenient to the open brewery-pub from earlier.

    On to the targets. But Clarkston and Lewiston were both deceptive when approaching from the west.

    • Clarkston of course revealed all its practical but unappealing suburbs, and put up one sign saying only "City Center" - which eluded Domination, even though the expedition went looking. On the other hand, Lewiston opened up its Historic District right from the city boundary (state line).
    • Based on purely impressions plus a highway ad saying "Microbrewery On Premises!", the Domination of Eiler garrisoned the Red Lion Inn of Lewiston, the local Fancy Place. (Domination still wishes to avoid redneck hotels for a while.)
    • Just inside Lewiston, Nez Perce County History Museum submitted town history and stood in for a proper Visitors' Center to give directions. (Reason for town existence: gold rush. Sorry, all the Nez Perce Indians! The famous Chief Joseph who spoke for them was just the last survivor of all their chiefs, once they got chased out from Lewis and Clark territory in the relatively famous Nez Perce War. But since riverboats got motivated to come to Idaho as early as 1865, riverboats still come here!)
    • Cheap alternative destination Guesthouse Inn was bypassed, thanks to the Domination's expedition actually seeing its neighborhood first. Would you rather overlook Main Street or railroad tracks? But as it happens, Red Lion Inn overlooks Main Street or shopping mall! And even it was selling out its last rooms before 2 pm. There's some evidence it is the preferred vendor to the local Lewis and Clark Community College.
    • Quality Inn of Clarkston was thereby bypassed, though it has superior ambiance and is next to the Riverbend Brewery.

    Of course, the Domination of Eiler went on bicycle patrol to conquer all breweries. Since the cold front came through yesterday, bicycle conditions are ideal t-shirt plus reflective vest weather! The vest was added because Lewiston and Clarkston both seem to disrespect cyclists. For instance, sidewalks can not be used as emergency bike paths, and they both have signs saying so.

    Riverbend Brewery of Clarkston gave valuable intelligence about bike paths and further targets!

    • Clarkston and Lewiston each have one bike path apiece, atop levees near their rivers! Even the Tri-Cities of Washington do better at guiding people onto their bike paths, though. And that's saying something. But those bike paths together spared the streets of these twin cities almost all the return trip of the Domination's bike patrol!
    • The brewery of Clarkston is more for beer purists; it featured only their own full-range beer, including 14% alcohol strong ale. The brewery of Lewiston caters more to the general public; they actually had three of their own fruit-flavored beers, and their own most threatening flavor was Brown. Plus a swarm of guest taps. Both breweries shall be honored within the Domination of Eiler.
    • Pullman-Washington and Moscow-Idaho both have breweries and state universities. The universities are both out of session right now (Yay, one supposes), but in Pullman they reportedly close the breweries too! (Huh?) But those are almost twin cities themselves, and both trivially close to tonight's lodging, so well worth a visit tomorrow!

    Day 5: Wednesday 15 May 2013

    Pullman-Washington vs. Moscow-Idaho
    Twin cities and heavy rivals. Who will win? Domination Frontline: Pullman-Washington / Moscow-Idaho
    The View From Above
    The view of Lewiston and Clarkston from above. See also:
  • Moscow-Idaho's Historic Mansion
  • Ascended from Lewiston to a high plateau. There lie Moscow-Idaho and Pullman-Washington, separated by only ten miles. Based on geography and Internet brewery reports, the expedition went through Moscow and selected Pullman for lodging.

    • As often happens, the Domination's expedition got rolling too early. Invaded Moscow by 11, but historic mansion/museum not open until 1, and local brewery not open until Thursday. Settled for lunch at Moscow Alehouse, loosely affiliated withe Coeur d'Alene Brewery but offering many flavors including Pyramid Cream Weiss and Coeur d'Alene Huckleberry.
    • Moscow historic house McCormick Mansion open on schedule. The Domination expedition barely beat a tour group. Historic house, check!
    • Bypassed an Appaloosa horse museum in heavy traffic from Moscow to Pullman. Came into Manor House Motel (booked in advance for once) before 2 pm, and conquered a sort of nap. Motel is billed as being quiet, which is true except for the state highway it nestles alongside. They are also so protective of their towels, they will charge you $100 for them in advance and later give you a refund if you don't use them to wipe up coffee stains. They are also protective of their long-term tenants who loiter in the parking lot right outside people's rooms. But at least they have infinitely more free breakfast than the Fancy Place in Lewiston does.
    • Paradise Creek Brewery submitted some nice ales, including more huckleberry (pucker-style). Other venues submitted dinner, dessert, and decaf. The hotel is survivable and convenient, but not worth going back to early.
    • Practically every Pullman-Washington venue offers wi-fi, and outlets to plug computers into! The Domination of Eiler therefore prepared this fine travelog and its photos, and surprisingly cyber-worked on Powernaut comics!

    Day 6: Thursday 16 May 2013

    Electric City-Washington
    Striking on toward the middle of nowhere. Domination Frontline: Grand Coulee Dam-Washington
    Grand Coulee Dam
    The Grand Coulee Dam. See also:
  • Ceremonial Jugs
  • Downtown Electric City
  • Hotel Room View
  • Well, It Is Electric City
  • Actually got refreshing sleep at noisy hotel, thanks to earplugs and an extra dose of sleepy drugs. Broke loose for hours of driving at about 10 am.

    Aside from cows, the population had mostly gone into hiding. Most attractions (including local museums) along the way were closed until May-September, by which they really mean more June-August. Main attraction was therefore a country store where the Dominator walked in with his floppy Greenland/Texas hat, his cross-shaped earring, and his Carnage on the Mountain t-shirt, and bought some new $2 gloves because the old pair keeps getting holes and not getting lost. The natives interacted in friendly manner, though they were obviously stunned to see their Dominator in person.

    Without obstructions, therefore deployed straight to the day's prime target: Grand Coulee Dam. On station by 1:30 pm. Tours available tomorrow morning but closed for the afternoon, because laser light show crews were training for the June-August tourist season. Light show on the dam every night then! Just not now.

    The Domination was therefore faced with an open choice of hotels, among four small towns along the nearby rivers. (After the previous day's choice of hotel, today avoided pre-reserving.) Came into town looking for the Grand Coulee Lodge, saw only cheap trashy hotels (plus a casino on the Indian reservation small town), and kept looking. Finally went to see Electric City before giving up. Thereby found a rustic waterfront hotel - with full-function Internet, using dependable wiring!

    Dinner at Electric City Bar and Grill. Dessert (well, actually second dinner) at Lake Baker Pub. Both are back-country places much likein Grindstone City-Michigan, only slightly more happening because electricity is still more popular than grindstones. In short, this is the sort of place the Dominator might some day consider retiring to.

    Day 7: Friday 17 May 2013

    Let's hope they've got their apple blossom festival out of the way this time.
    Prisoner of the Town Museum Jail! Pateros-Washington. See also:
  • Dam View from the Scenic Route
  • Urban View from Wenatchee's Fanciest Hotel
  • After considering the relatives merits of a 10 am two-hour tour vs. an extra hour lounging by the patio, skipped the tour. In the Domination of Eiler, guided tours usually take twice as long as they ought to, and are only half as sanitary due to limited bathroom access.

    Also pre-booked tonight's lodgings at what seems to be the Fancy Place in Wenatchee, centrally located near the river between the museum and the brewery. Saved upwards of $30 on the bill on one of those travel sites that Google knows about. Let's see if the room is crap or not...

    With extra time, decided to mostly avoid U.S. 2. It is crowded by Domination standards, which means one occasionally does have to pass slow traffic. Instead took a scenic route which goes past a state park and looks better on a map. Found one town museum, refreshingly open whenever Town Hall is. What a concept.

    Claimed room in Wenatchee. Quality is somewhere between Lewiston and Pullman, due to in-your-face view of Main Street. Hotel of course pre-sells all its lower-floor rooms to the cheap travel sites and won't negotiate on that, at least not when a Corvair car convention is in town. Thankfully, stocked up on earplugs today.

    Stopped by Wenatchee Valley Museum, only to recognize it from the Domination's early 2011 tour! That was a busy day, here in a land which is now seeing its second wave of Dominance.

    So, skipped museum in favor of lunch at Columbia Valley Brewery, though they currently arrange for a pizza place to ship food in. At least this beats two other local breweries which still arrange for other breweries to ship all the beer in. Throughout State-of-Washington, the beer trade is changing faster than web searches can keep up, and Wenatchee is still ramping up for beer.

    So ends the vacation. The plan is to take one more three-hour drive, and get home tomorrow afternoon in time to take up a normal weekend in the Domination of Eiler so as to recover from vacation.

    This vacation has delivered these major signs of success: new lands, lots of historical attractions, scenery, and breweries. All Hail the Domination!

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