Warehouse Beach - Taking a break on the drive to Portland

Once I got older, which corresponded nicely with the kids growing up and moving out, road trips became much more relaxed. Without the need to get from Point A to Point B at warp speed before one of the kids - or all three, in series or parallel - had a meltdown, I schedule with a little more driving time. I also schedule a run.

On the way to Portland, I diverted through Walla Walla and dropped down into the Columbia River Valley. Sadly, the temps dipped down with me. It was partly sunny with the mercury sitting in the 60's. Short sleeve weather in late November. Yay!

Instead, a cloying fog attached itself to the river and the thermometer showed about 42 degrees. Fortunately, by the time I got to Warehouse Beach, the sun had melted some of the fog and got it back to short-sleeve weather, in just barely.

I did end up with an audience watching as a ran up one of the sharp short bluffs. The deer posed for a picture, then dropped over the edge far more gracefully than I will ever manage.

Once you leave the old rail bed, single track extends in a dozen different directions. Some are well developed, some are not much more than deer trails, and all of them are sandy. If you're thinking of turning a fast five miles out here, forget it. Plan on a slow but pleasant five. 

Ducking down towards the river puts you on a narrow trail surrounded by scrub. 

Ducking down towards the river puts you on a narrow trail surrounded by scrub. 

If you head to the river, vistas up- and down-stream greet you. I ran out here the last time under brilliant blue skies. The view, sharp-edged with the basalt cliffs across the Columbia, combined with the sky and clouds, is worth the price of admission. Which, by the way, is free to the park. 

Warehouse Beach is about 12-15 miles east of Umatilla along Highway 730 at Landing Road. Next door is Hat Rock State Park. That's my stop on the return trip.