Monday, June 24, 2013

A road trip called "gorge"-ous, day four Monday June 10th.

This day we are making our way eastward along Oregon Highway 30, the historic Columbia River Highway. A beautiful stretch of two lane road twisting and turning its way along the southern side of the Columbia River Gorge... you could say a "gorge"-ous highway. Would much rather be driving the Festiva today!

Historic Route 30...

First stop of the morning was at Vista House located on the Crown Point Overlook. The Vista House was built in 1917 on one of the most beautiful scenic points on the Historic Columbia River Highway, as place for travelers to rest and refresh themselves as they made their way down the magnificent Columbia River Gorge. 

On the way up to Vista House...

Photo from

Looking east up the gorge from Vista House
After a quick stop we continued up the gorge to Latourell Falls, the first of many waterfalls along the way. The falls plunge 224 feet over a massive wall of columnar basalt before cascading hastily towards the Columbia River.

Enroute to Latourell...

Sharon and I at Latourell Falls.

Next stop... Bridal Veil Falls. These falls are the only in the area which occurs below the historic Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway - the base of the falls standing probably no more than 20 vertical feet above the Columbia River and the crest is 118 feet above that. It's a pleasant walk down to the falls from the well signed parking lot.

Bridal Veil Falls. If you look closely you can see the highway bridge across the top of the upper falls.
After Bridal Veil we stopped at Wahkeena Falls. The falls plunge over two steps, the largest being 180 feet and the smallest 62 feet. Wahkeena is aYakima Indian word meaning "most beautiful" and I think I would agree.

Next stop... the big one, Multnomah Falls. The falls are usually cited as dropping 611 feet, 542 feet in the upper and 69 feet in the lower tier.However there is a small cascade between the two and a 10 foot fall immediately above the main drop which is sometimes called Little Multnomah Falls, which would bring the total height of the series to about 630 feet. A magnificent sight regardless of the numbers...

Sharon at Multnamah Falls. Benson Bridge in the background.
After our little walk up to the falls we grabbed a snack and headed as far east as we could before joining I-84. The remainder of our drive was fairly uneventful. We stopped in Kennewick to pick up some Cherry Coke, which our kids love and is rarely available in Calgary. On our way down we had driven through in the dark so it was interesting to see the terrain between Kennewick and our overnight stop in Sandpoint ID in the daylight. We discovered that the maps on our GPS were not quite as up to date as they could have been even though I had updated them before we left. There was a fair bit of new construction around Sandpoint that threw us off for a bit but we were able to find our hotel after a short detour.

Tomorrow has us on our homeward leg of the journey. Stay tuned. 

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