A transformation begins east of the Lyle area as the country opens up into rolling dry hills of grass and rock. In this desolate place the rumble of long freight trains and the sounds of tugs pushing barges upriver mingle with those of nature to create a hauntingly resounding symphony.
Getting to The Dalles
Amtrak (800/872-7245, www.amtrak.com) trains stop at the little settlement of Wishram, nine miles east of the Dalles dam. Service is daily, heading west to Bingen, Vancouver, and Portland, and east to Pasco, Spokane, and continuing all the way to Chicago.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition