Oops! I am playing blog catch up! We are now in Gig Harbor, outside of Seattle but I can’t leave out Portland, so here we go……
Like country bumpkins, we emerged from seven weeks on the coast with our “beachy” relaxed mindset and crashed into the exciting, fast paced buzz of the city. Hello Portland! We began “oohing” and “aahing” over the Costco, Home Depot and Apple Store and knew we were ready for civilization! Plus, we would be living near my sister, Korri, and her family for a week, just a 15 minute drive away! Thank you Korri and family for spending sooooo much time with us and giving us a fun filled day touring the Columbia Gorge, Multnomah Falls, the Vista House, Fish Hatchery and the Bridge of the Gods! Spending time with family and friends, old and new, are the memories we will cherish the most from this adventure! And….we had another special encounter in Portland. We met up with my friend and grade school classmate, Maureen, and hubby, Jim. Except for a class reunion Maureen initiated and pulled off with her trusty recruits last year, we haven’t seen each other for 40+ years! Thank you Maureen and Jim for a wonderful dinner and a special time reminiscing and reconnecting!
We introduced Korri and family to Betty, piled into her van and headed into the Columbia River Gorge.
The dramatic canyon, carved by eras of geological events stretches 80 miles through the Cascade Mountain Range. It is a National Scenic Area and rightly so. The river winds westward through the carved walls past breathtaking waterfalls, reaching a maximum depth of approximately 4,000 feet.
In the Gorge, Multnomah Falls attracts more visitors than any other recreation site in the Pacific Northwest according to the USDA Forest Service. Apparently, all of them showed up when we did!
Despite the crowds, it was definitely worth the visit.
Falling 620 feet in two tiers, a foot bridge crosses in front of the cascading water for a perfect view. The more adventurous can continue up to the top of the falls on a path switch-backing up 1 ¼ miles with a 700 foot elevation gain. Of course we made it to the top (luckily, my 7 year old niece slowed down to walk with us old folks!).
Along the way, several other beautiful falls grace the landscape.
The Vista House, built in 1918 on Crown Point as a way stop and observatory for road weary travelers provides magnificent views of the canyon.
Elegantly finished with marble and brass, it remains quite a posh place!
We finished the day with a visit to the Bonneville Fish Hatchery, home to Herman the Sturgeon. Actually, there have been several Herman stars over the years. These prehistoric looking fish can live up to 70+ years, grow to 16’ to 20’ and 1,500 lbs. to 2,000 lbs. Our “tour guides” took us back to Betty via the Bridge of the Gods and a good day was had by all!
Stay Tuned for Portland Part 2!