July 23, 2016 – Oregon’s Historic US-30 Highway

This morning we set out to drive Oregon’s Historic US-30 Highway, a drive we’d planned on taking last year before we had to cancel our travel plans.  Heading out form our campground in White Salmon, WA we were surprised to see a snow covered Mt. Hood looming over the hills along the south border of the Gorge.

Mt. Hood in AM Sun from White Salmon, WA - 2016-07-23

Given it isolation from surrounding peaks, it reminded is of our first view of Mt. McKinley (now Mt. Denali) during our 2011 trip to Alaska.

Heading west, we passed through the first of five tunnels

First Tunnel on Route 14 South of White Salmon, WA - 2016-07-23

and past sdozens of early morning anglers, both on the Columbia, but more often in adjacent ponds created by the road and railroad beds … this one, Drano Lake,

Morning Fishermen on Drano Lake, Adjscent to Columbia River - 2016-07-23

before reaching the

Bridge of the Gods (a) between Stevenson WA and Cascade Locks OR - 2106-07-23

Bridge of the Gods (b) between Stevenson WA and Cascade Locks OR - 2106-07-23

Fortunately wider than the bridge we’d crossed in our motor home yesterday

taking us back across the Columbia River to Cascade Locks, Oregon  … to check out the location of the departure docks where we’ll board a sternwheeler tomorrow morning for a brunch cruise. 

Nearby were three bronze statues;

Cougar

Cougar Bronze Cascade Locks, OR - 2106-07-23

Sacagawea

Sacagawea Bronze Statue, Cascade Locks, OR - 2106-07-23

with her infant son, Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau

Sacagawea's Infant Son, Jean-Baptiste Caharbonneau, Bronze Statue, Cascade Locks, OR - 2106-07-23

Newfoundland dog belonging to Meriwether Clark

Newfoundland dog belonging to Meriwether Clark Bronze Statue, Cascade Locks, OR - 2106-07-23

Continuing west along i-84 until reaching and exiting  for the 500’ climb to Corbett where we turned east along

Historic US Route 30 Sign - 2016-07-23

Our first stop was the Women’s Forum Overlook at Chanticleer Point for a great eastward view of the Columbia River

Columbia River  looking East from Chanticleer Point, Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23Rooster Rock, which we’d seen from below on I-84 yesterday,

Rooster Rock from Chanticleer Point, Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23and the Crown Point Vista House

Vista House from Chanticleer Point, Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23which was to be our next stop.

Vista House, Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23Completed in 1918, domed 44’ diameter rotunda with an octagonal plan was originally designed as “an observatory from which the view both up and down the Columbia could be viewed in silent communion with the infinite.”   The rotunda is 55’ high.  Stairs lead from the rotunda to an elevated viewing platform at the base of the dome.  The exterior is gray sandstone, with a green tile roof.  The interior is extensively finished in marble, even in the toilets. The dome interior has bronze lining.

Vista House Windows from Chanticleer Point, Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23

The clerestory windows feature opalescent glass in a simple tracery pattern, with similar colored glass at the tops of the windows at the main level.

In the building were several interesting exhibits, including one written in 1922 depicting the early days of Auto Camps“For decades, some travelers have enjoyed camping out while motoring.  They captured the adventure of the open air by eating at a picnic table a lying down their blankest in a tent or tent cabin.  Auto camps served the needs of motorists “roughing it” in the Columbia Gorge.  They offered toilets, a central shower, and sometimes a small store”.    

Auto Camps, Vista House Photo, Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23

The road was narrow

Historic US Route 30 (b) - 2016-07-23and wended its way along the contours of the hillsides

Historic US Route 30 (c) - 2016-07-23as we drove to a series of waterfalls over the next five miles … several of which we had to hike into.

Latourell Falls

Latourell Falls (a), Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23Type of Falls:  Plunging:

Height:  249 Feet

Latourell Falls (b), Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23

Latourell Falls (c), Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23

Nearby we passed a decaying home

Decaying Building at Latourell Falls, Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23

And type of goat we’d never seen before

Bagot Goat near Latourell Falls, Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23Bagot Goat

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls (b), Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23Type of Fall:  Tiered

Height:  Upper 40-60 feet  –  Lower 40-60 feet

Bridal Veil Falls (c), Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23

Wahkeena Falls

Wakeena Falls (a), Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23Type of Falls:  Tiered

Height:  242 Feet

Wakeena Falls (b), Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23

As we had luckily found a parking space at Wakeena Falls and the traffic was at a standstill between it and Multnomah Falls we opted for an overland hike rather than sitting and waiting for the traffic to creep along.

Path from Wakeena to Multnomah Falls, Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23

Multnomah Falls

Oregon’s most visited natural attraction and the state’s highest waterfall

Multnomah Falls (b), Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23Type of Falls: Tiered and Plunging

Height:   635 Feet

Multnomah Upper Falls (a), Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23

Multnomah Upper Falls (b), Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23

Multnomah Lower Falls (b), Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23

Horsetail Falls

Horseshoe Tail Falls (a), Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23Type of Falls:  Horsetail:

Height:  176 Feet

Horseshoe Tail Falls (b), Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23

On one of our hikes to a falls, we passed an area with water gently seeping down a curtain of vines dangling from overhanging cliffs.

Water Seeping from Hanging Vegetation, Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23

Throughout the woods, many of the trees were covered with a moss-like  growth we’ve not seen before.

Green Moss-like Growth on Trees near Falls on Historic US Route 30 - 2016-07-23

The cliffs bordering the roads were made up of Entablature Basalt (a relatively fast cooling lava which can fracture into irregular patterns and joints), Pillow Basalt (created when basalt flows encounter water and solidify almost immediately) and Columnar Basalt (photo below – which forms when lava cools slowly and fractures into 5-6 sided crystals)

ROCKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

After passing a charming stone house accented with planings of bright red geraniums,

Stone House, Historic with Red Geraniums, US Route 30 - 2016-07-23we got back on I-84, a drive east, past the narrow Hood River Bridge and onward toward The Dales, the county seat and with a population of 13,620 is the largest city on the Oregon side of the Columbia River outside of the Portland Metropolitan area.  It is located at the upper end of the Columbia’s “Middle River” between a long series of rapids just east of the city, now replaced by the Dalles Dam and those down river near Cascade Locks and Bonneville Dam some 48 miles to the west.

From our quick observations, there is a lumber industry centered in the city but not much else.

Lumber at Te Dalles

Crossing the Dalles Bridge back to Washington

The Dalles Bridge, The Dalles, OR - 2106-07-23the widest of the three (excluding those near Portland which was an Interstate) crossing the Columbia River, the we had an excellent view of the Dalles Dam,

The Dalles Dam, The Dalles, OR - 2106-07-23one of four on the Columbia River … which, together with the four on the Snake River, permitted goods to travel by water from the Pacific Ocean inland to Lewiston, Idaho … where we been less than a week ago.

Whereas the Oregon side of the river had been mostly treed, once we were on the north side of the Columbia, the landscape took on more of a desert-like atmosphere more reminiscent of the far eastern part of the State we’d traveled through earlier.

The Dalles, Washington - 2106-07-23

Enroute back to our campground, we passed a number of windsurfers,

Windsurfing on the Columbia River between Hood River and The Dalse, OR - 2106-07-23a large crowd of kite surfers, a sport we really never seen before,

Kitesurfing on the Columbia River (b) - 2016-07-23

Kitesurfing on the Columbia River (a) - 2016-07-23and finally, a late afternoon view of Mt. Hood, which lacks its morning dramatic look due to the sun’s positon.

Mt. Hood in PM Sun from north of White Salmon, WA - 2016-07-23

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