Return to Oregon

Hands down one of our favorite places to visit is the beautiful state of Oregon.  So this year, when summer vacation rolled around, we just couldn't resist returning to the Beaver State but this time we brought family!

Flying into Portland

Entering Troutdale

We flew into Portland on a rainy day (what else would you expect?) in June, rented a car and skipped over to Troutdale, the small town known as the Gateway to the Gorge.  For a quick bite of lunch at the Ye Old Pub before entering the Columbia River Gorge via the Historic Columbia River Highway.  Years before we had driven this same road stopping to hike some of the waterfalls along the highway, however, this time we had several factors keeping us from exploring:  1. the rain, 2. elderly parents in tow, and 3. the Eagle Creek Fire.

Wet, cold Historic Columbia River Highway

View from the Vista House at Crown Point overlooking the Columbia River

Opposite direction view from the Vista House at Crown Point overlooking the Columbia River

OLD PHOTO - Multnomah Falls 2015

The Eagle Creek Fire was a destructive wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge in the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington. The fire was started on September 2, 2017, by a 15-year-old teenage boy igniting fireworks during a burn ban. The fire burned 50,000 acres, and burned for three months, before being declared completely contained. As of May 29th 2018 it was found still smoldering in some areas.

Unfortunately, most of the waterfalls were barricaded so that you could not get to them.  The lower half of Multnomah Falls, one of the most impressive along the gorge, was only accessible from the Highway 84 and not the Historic Columbia River Highway.

We called the falls a miss and drove on into Cascade Locks where we had reserved a hotel for the night. Our favorite hotel in Cascade Locks is the Best Western Columbia River Inn.  This clean, well kept, hotel sits along the banks of the Columbia River.  We made sure to get a river view room so that we would not miss the barges going up and down the big river.  Still raining we decided to take a driving tour of the area and visited the Bonneville Fish Hatchery, Bonneville Damn, Bridge of the Gods and Thunder Island Brewing (you know us!). 

Marionberry Sour Beer at Thunder Island Brewing overlooking the old locks at Cascade Locks

Fragrant lavender grows thick at the Bonneville Fish Hatchery

Beautiful old train bridge greets you at the entrance to the Bonneville Fish Hatchery

View from Best Western Inn at Cascade Locks

Mural of cascades below the Bridge of the Gods

Mural below the Bridge of the Gods and the ONLY bigfoot we saw on our whole trip.  His nose is very European, don't you think?

Bridge of the Gods

The next day we headed to Hood River stopping to view the gardens and Columbia River overlook at the Columbia Gorge Hotel & Spa.

Mom & Dad at the Columbia Gorge Hotel & Spa

Bridge in the beautiful gardens surrounding the Columbia Gorge Hotel & Spa

From Hood River we drove up to Mount Hood stopping to take in the sites along the way. Our first stop was Packers Farm Place, just off Highway 35, to pick up some snacks - Mount Hood cherries and dried apples!

Mount Hood view from a farm near Hood River, Oregon

Inching closer to Mount Hood we made another detour on the Barlow Road.  This poorly paved road winds through a dense forest passing by the Pioneer Woman's Grave where you can stop and leave your trinket in honor of the pioneers who made their way through this area.  The road continues until the forest opens up and reveals the best view of Mount Hood, or, Wy'East the Legendary Mountain, as Native Americans have named it. Directly across from the Wy'East lookout point is a quaint rock water basin which is filled from a mountains spring above the basin.

Basin across from Wy'East Lookout

View of Wy'East - the Legendary Mountain from the Barlow Road

It was getting close to lunch time when we made our way up to Mount Hood where we watched a few people skiing in June and we roamed the Timberline Lodge taking a break from our car ride.

Outside of Timberline Lodge - used in the movie, The Shining

We said goodbye to Wy'East and headed down the mountain and west on to the Pacific Coast.  We had reservations at our favorite inn in Cannon Beach, Schooner's Cove Inn, for the next three nights.

As usual the Schooner's Cove Inn and Cannon Beach did not disappoint!  Each room at the inn has their own kitchenette and gas burning fireplace - perfect for the cool nights on the beach.  Using Cannon Beach as home base we explored the area visiting Hug Point, Haystack Rock, Ecola State Park, Lewis & Clark Salt Cairns, The Wreckage of the Peter Iredale and the Astoria Column in Astoria, Oregon.  Because we have visited these places before and posted our experiences on this blog we're not going to go into details.  We'll just let our photos speak for themselves.

View of Tillamook Lighthouse from our hotel balcony at Cannon Beach

Wreck of the Peter Iredale on the beach near Fort Clatsop

Beach view overlook from Ecola State Park

Mom and Dad exploring the beach at Cannon Beach

Haystack Rock near Cannon Beach
Astoria Column in Astoria, Oregon

TK's bird friend she hand fed pizza crust

Lewis & Clark Salt Cairns Historic Monument

Needless to say, we enjoyed our trip to Oregon once again and plan to return next year!

Until next year!


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