TRI-CITIES, WA - For those of you who have the travel bug, you might be familiar with the Ride the Ducks of Seattle tour, The Chicago Architecture River Tour and others like it. What do they have in common? They tour through some of the biggest cities in the country, which is why it's surprising to find one just like those in the Tri-Cities.
Bob Christensen was born and raised in Salem, Oregon; a native to the Pacific Northwest. After he retired from telecommunications, his love of culture and travel brought him to his next adventure.
"When I retired I decided to move towards a dream that I always had," said Christensen.
That's exactly what he did. Almost a decade ago, he started a travel tour company based in Southeast Asia. Now, he's much closer to home. Less than a month ago, Bob, the world traveler, and Terry Andre the historian, started Roads2Travel Tri-Cities, a day adventure tour that takes you through the local places that shaped history. So how did they go about picking where they go?
"We're looking at the things that you should always see," said Christensen. "The things that are iconic."
Speaking of iconic, the tour kicks off with a trip to Richland's Spudnut Shop. The potato flour is what makes these Spudnuts so unique and has kept people coming back for more than 60 years.
"If you go inside you'll see a lot of grey hair in there," said Christensen. "And you'll see a lot of young children that are in booster chairs. Everyone comes here because they want to try a spudnut."
If you haven't tried one yet, put that on your to-do list, just make sure you don't call it a doughnut. Next, we go to the historic Alphabet Houses, a secret society in the shrub step desert during WWII.
"The houses are unique," said Terry Andre. "They were designed and built just for this area. The people were amazing. People who came here who had no idea what it was they were working on, but they were dedicated to winning the war."
The tour is about telling stories. Stories of the people who were here during World War II.
"This 'F' house right here, on the left hand side, is where Leona Woods Marshall Libby lived. You'll probably recognize that name because the brand new middle school is being named for her. Leona was the only woman scientist that was here at the start of the B-reactor."
Now to the shining star of the tour, the B-Reactor. This national historical landmark produced the plutonium used in the world's first nuclear bomb detonation, which ended WWII and changed the course of history.
That's a lot of information to digest, which brings us to our last stop, Dupus Boomers for a look at life in the Atomic City.
"The whole theme of every tour that we have whether it's in Southeast Asia, Maui Hawaii, or day adventures here in Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington, we say when visiting those places, make it unique and make it a memory."
To check out more about Roads2Travel Tri-Cities, click here: http://www.roads2tri-cities.com/manhattan.html.