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.
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
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,
before reaching the
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;
with her infant son, Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau
Newfoundland dog belonging to Meriwether Clark
Continuing west along i-84 until reaching and exiting for the 500’ climb to Corbett where we turned east along
Our first stop was the Women’s Forum Overlook at Chanticleer Point for a great eastward view of the Columbia River
Completed 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.
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”.
The road was narrow
Height: 249 Feet
Nearby we passed a decaying home
And type of goat we’d never seen before
Bridal Veil Falls
Height: Upper 40-60 feet – Lower 40-60 feet
Height: 242 Feet
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.
Oregon’s most visited natural attraction and the state’s highest waterfall
Height: 635 Feet
Height: 176 Feet
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.
Throughout the woods, many of the trees were covered with a moss-like growth we’ve not seen before.
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)
After passing a charming stone house accented with planings of bright red geraniums,
we 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.
Crossing the Dalles Bridge back to Washington
one 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.
Enroute back to our campground, we passed a number of windsurfers,