Columbia River Gorge, Edgefield, Gray Whales, Mt Hood, Newport Oregon, Oregon, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, Pacific Coast Hwy 101, Timberline Lodge, Troutdale
Heading toward Portland, Oregon but not wanting to get too near the hustle and bustle (and traffic) we opted to base out of the cute little town of Troutdale and the Sandy Riverfront RV Resort. For you fellow RV’ers this is a nice place even though it is generally just a lineup of rigs, but lots of flowers, nice people, good laundry and easy short walk into town which is always a big plus in our book!
One of the rewards to our bopping around the country is seeing friends we’ve not seen in years and this time it was our young friend Michelle Hiltner.
She suggested meeting at McMenamins’ Edgefield just down the road, where we had a nice lunch and wonderful visit. They make wine and whiskey here on the grounds and being harvest time we stood and watched the initial processing of the grapes, and then of course had a few tastings 🙂
Troutdale calls itself the Gateway to the Gorge and the old State Route 30 part of the Historic Columbia River Highway was designed by Samuel C. Lancaster to take advantage of the many waterfalls and the natural beauty of the landscape. Completed in 1922 it was an engineering marvel and we drove the narrow, twisting, woodland part between Troutdale and Dodson (where 30 joins up with I-80). Not only is it a beautiful drive, we were greatly impressed to learn of the generous benefactors who back in the day, had purchased some of the land containing these lovely waterfalls to hold them as public parks and thereby protected for all of us.
We finished our tour at the once huge Bonneville Dam (there are larger newer dams upstream on the Columbia) where we greatly enjoyed watching the fat salmon and other fishes going up the fish ladder.
I will admit to wishing at least one of them was on my dinner plate.
The next morning we headed for Mount Hood out State Route 26 to 173-Timberline Hwy and the historic Timberline Lodge where we had a good lunch with an incredible view!
Afterwards I pointed to one of many paths and told Ed I just wanted to go up a little ways. What a beautiful place for a walk and the old lodge is magnificent.
Switching gears and directions once again we headed back to the Pacific Coastal Highway 101 where we stopped at a local park (so sorry I am not sure where) and watched the grey whales migrating. LOTS of whales!! Granted, pretty much all we saw were them spouting (which by the way is how to spot them, watch for the blast of water from the surface of the ocean), and their tails as they would periodically go deep. We continued to stop and watch for them, and see them, as we progressed down 101 over the course of several days. Certainly giving them more anthropomorphic traits then I should, I couldn’t help but chuckle wondering if they have any idea that humans get REALLY EXCITED when just barely seeing a tiny bit of them?
Taking the Otter Crest Loop Rd off 101 (it’s one way so coming from the north you just have to watch for it after passing Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint). This is a lovely less traveled route and at the end is Devils Punch Bowl.
Landing in Newport for the night we found the bay side much more inviting than the ocean side.
The next day we went on to Florence, which is a neat town. The fog had either rolled in, or was advancing as a wall depending on where we were.
My photographer companion says it’s often more interesting than bright sunshine. We did have a good dinner at Bridgewater Fresh Fish House-Zebra Bar where I kid you not, the young waiter said to me “would you like me to refill your free water?”
Next posting is headed back inland and it is going to be HOT….well….it was hot a long time ago! You’ll understand soon 🙂