Main Plan for today was to have lunch with a friend. We had a leisurely morning and walked out the door around noon. Another beautiful day here in the gorge. It has become evident that one week here is not enough, we will miss seeing a lot of good stuff. Maybe next time.
We crossed the narrow Hood River bridge over to Oregon and paid our $1. The bridge is way to narrow to take the coach over, doable but no need to. Then headed down I84 toward Cascade Locks. Once again beautiful scenery. Just off to the right are the railroad tracks and then the river.
We caught a train and it was a long one.
5 Miles later we passed it, not that we were racing.
We finally arrived in the town of Cascade Locks and pulled into the visitors center, which also has a cafe and is the dock for the stern wheeler that gives tours. I sat down and chatted with some folks that were on a tour bus and were going to take the river cruise. They had been at the Pendleton Roundup yesterday. We had a nice chat while we waited for my friend.
I even found big foot.
We had been early and Scott showed up right on time. Scott and I worked together back in Quantico, VA many years ago. We did quite a bit of traveling around the country supporting the Bureaus radio programs. He looks the same. We had a not too bad lunch and did a lot of catching up. One of the best things about traveling the country is getting to talk to or meet up with old friends. Thanks for coming out to have lunch with us Scott.
We had watched the stern wheeling pull out and as we finished lunch it pulled back it. About the same time a Bald Eagle flew down river but to far out for a good picture. It had been a couple hours and we said our good byes and parted ways again. Scott had given us some good places to see and thats what we did
We headed for old US 30 that kind of parallels I84, it is a narrow winding road but goes some of the water falls and thats what Bonnie wanted to see. We almost drove by the first one but found a place to park. Horse Tail Falls
I can kind of see the horse tail
Next was Multnomah Falls maybe the most famous of the gorge falls. There is a lodge and the falls are 620 high and falls in two steps. The source of the water is underground springs in Larch Mountain. View from the parking lot.
Starting up the path here is the upper drop
and the bottom drop
Next was Latourell Falls
and finally Wahkenna Falls
From here we headed up the road to Larch Mountain. A Larch tree looks like a pine tree, but it is deciduous and drops all its needles every fall. However there are no Larch Trees on this mountain. Folklore is that the early lumbermen sold the fir trees telling buyers they were the sought after Larch. On the way up the mountain we entered the Mt Hood National Forest, which must be huge. The reason for coming up here which was a good road but winding and slow going, was to walk up to Sherrand Point. But first a quick stop at Vista House.
Its called Vista House because of the views up and down the gorge. Lots of haze in the air. Your eyes tends to filter out a lot of the haze.
Then we continued up to the Larch Mountain parking area. Bonnie headed up the tail as my hips were acting up and we were not sure how long a walk it was. She saw some interesting sights along the way and liked this tree.
Now this stump to me looks like a big Frog with his mouth wide open.
She made it to the summit and took these shots of the various mountain peaks.
This is the one we saw driving to White Salmon form about 100 miles.
Almost 100 miles
Easy to tell this one since she blew her top in 1980.
Well thats about it for today, we headed home and got back to the coach just after 7:00pm. Just is time to see the Buffalo Bills score two touchdowns at the start of the second half. But a win was not to be and they lost in the end.
Great looking day again today. We finally headed upriver to the Dalles just after noon today. The train tracks are sometime very close on this side.
Then across the Dalles Bridge
First stop at the Visitors center. Wow compared to the one at Bonneville this one was much smaller but very nice with some very nice displays. Celilo Falls used to be just above the dam site and the dam put them under water. They were a very important fishing spot for the native americans.
This is the spillway section of the dam.
Looking back at the Dalles bridge from the visitors center
This was looking over toward the power house wing of the dam with 22 turbines in it. They produce enough power for two cities the size of Portland.
Then we drove down to the Columbia Gorge Discovery Museum.
A very well done museum with a lot of great displays and informative videos. It is laid out in chronological order so it is very easy to follow. Then the other side is all about the history of the county. There I learned a lot about how important the Celilo Falls area was to the Native Americans. Also some good old time film of the Columbia River Highway. An early American dug out canoe
This is how the pioneers rafted the river, many lost all their possessions in the rapids. Later a road was built and a rail road to portage around the rapid and falls.
One of the videos showed the man carving this Sturgeon.
We left the museum at 5:00 when they closed and decided to take Historic Route 30 back home. Not knowing what to expect we followed a very winding road and climbed up to the Rowena Crest and overlook
Looking directly across the river
And down river with a nice view of Mount Hood.
From here we headed down and soon were back home just before it got dark. Another great day.
We had a scenic drive planned for today but it was raining when I got up and the clouds were almost down to the ground. Bonnie decided to stay home and clean today. Since she likes me gone when she cleans I drove down to Bonneville Dam on the Oregon side.
It was a pretty hard steady rain by the time I got down there. So I put on my rain shirt and headed for the Fish Hatchery. I could not see into the tanks because there was no sun. So I headed over to the Sturgeon area to see Herman the Sturgeon and I was not disappointed. This is one of the fish but Herman is a little bigger.
This is the front part of Herman
Those 4 whisker like things on his chin are barbels and help them locate the bottom in the dark river.
Here is a close up
Then I headed over to the visitors center for the dam. Hoping to see some barges go through the lock. Of course the lock viewing area is closed for the season.
Lots to see here though. The visitor center is 5 levels. The bottom level has viewing windows of the fish ladder. Not as many fish here as the other side and I did not see any Lampreys. Then I walked out in the rain to look at the top of the fish ladder. Much wider here than other ones we have seen.
This is the upriver side of the power house. I did not go in the power house as it was a long walk in the rain. I could see the locks from here and did see a barge go in the lock and sink out of site. Then I saw another barge appear and pull out of the lock headed up river. Later as I was leaving I had to wait below the lock as there is a swing bridge that was open to allow a barge in. I did get a peak into the lock at the barge waiting to be lifted.
And I remembered to get my National Parks Passport Stamped.
Finally back home. Still raining but not very hard here at the nicely cleaned coach.
No rain this morning but it was overcast and low clouds, Mt Hood is hiding in the clouds again. We got ready and headed a short distance up river to Bingen First Baptist Church (SBC). This is a pretty small church with very friendly people. They also do so great big things.
There were 25 people in church counting us today. A good mix of people some older than us and some younger, good to see. This small church has a goal to send 500 ShoeBox presents to Samaritans Purse Operation Christmas Child. Click that link for more info. Better yet it appears they already have all the items collected to pack the boxes. Last year they did 400. We met Pastor Pat and his wife before the service and he put me to work. I was in charge of the lights when they used the projector and was to close the door when the trains went by blowing their horns. We enjoyed the service and meeting these friendly people.
Back home after church it was still pretty overcast so Bonnie decided she just wanted to take it easy. I decided to drive down river a little and see if any one was kite boarding or wind surfing. Not a lot going on but I did spot this ship headed up river. Its the SS Legacy. It is a 88 passenger replica costal steamer. It is on an eight day cruise up and down the gorge with stops everyday to explore the gorge history.
I did find some kiters below the bridge and across from the Hood River
Its a little cool and I guess that keeps a lot of kiters off the water.
Finally a windsurfer takes to the water
I was parked close to the train tracks and a long train came along to block my view. It was almost all tank cars.
I wondered what they were hauling so looked up what the 1267 placard stood for. Petroleum Crude Oil. Guess there are not pipelines everywhere so it goes by rail.
Well not much action so I headed home, Bonnie said she was planning to make my Mothers Vegetable soup for supper. We have something special that we have never seen planned for tomorrow so stay tuned.
Thanks For Checking In!