Thursday, August 04, 2011

Portland

I just want to say "thanks" to our friends in Seattle for describing the true nature of the Seattle/Portland drive. They sort of said, "well, that drive isn't..." and sort of drifted off. I don't remember any exact adjectives, but fundamentally it would be "meh!", and it was "meh!". We got lost-no-lost in the Stepford-looking planned community of Dupont; I'm still not exactly sure what that experience was, but after some turning around and eyeing down creepy old people at a coffee shop we eventually arrived in Portland around lunchtime, again at the home of an old friend.  Yet again we had a rocking hostess for a few days of Portlandia. I had been quite expectant of this leg because when one thinks of Portland, one thinks of bikes, bikes, bikes!

The schedule had two days for Portland, not enough, but the show must go on. On the first day consisted of a short drive and beautiful hike followed by dinner cooked at the home of said hostess. Before venturing we stopped by local eatery The New Deal Cafe and lunched on organic omelettes and sandwiches and Left Coast fav Stumptown coffee. From there we took a drive- maybe an hour, maybe half that?- out to the Columbia River Gorge via the Historic Rd 30. I perked up immediately because I saw numerous cyclists on this busy route. The pics below will show a landscape that was amiable to stunning, blue skies and lots and lots of sun. Who said the Pacific NW was cloudy and grey? I refuse to believe it!

Troutdale, as you can see, is the entry to the Gorge via the Historic Columbia River Highway.

Bridge across the XX River


Looking east up the Columbia River Gorge from Vista House, of which I don't have a good pic. Scenic, isn't it?

Sweat Peas. Lot's of wild sweat pea out West.

The pic begs explanation. You need to "embiggen" it and focus in the center on that patch of asphalt. Then look a bit to the right and you'll catch a brief glimpse of a cyclist, in this case a 'bent cyclist. He was spinning up to the top as we arrived and I waited to snap him as he hit the gap on the descent. He must have been FLYING! 

Gorge looking west.
After our nice stop at Vista House we drove further east along the scenic high and stopped a time or two for the local scenic offerings. The areas were quite full, but that was OK. How do you expect folks not to come out in the 83F sun? Our hostess stated that Portlanders live for the 5 days a year such as these. Fortuitous on our part.


Bridal Veil Falls. Very popular, and very attractive. You can climb to the top too, but we chose smartly.
 Following is a series of pics from our 4m hike to Horsetail Falls. It was gorgeous and fun. I'll let the pics do the talking.




Le Dauphin. I like this one.



Small gorge leading to the 2nd portion of Horsetail Falls. I think there is a 3rd below.






We were bushed after a great day of hiking. We finished up our day at our hostess' house where she fed us an appreciated supper. To add to the benefit, her parents were out of town, so she/they offered us use of their cute little condo, so we saved on hotel $$ as well. He dad was to return on Sunday night, but he was delayed from storms in Chicago, so we got a 2nd night. Score! These sunset pics are from the front stoop of their condo. Not bad.


1 comment:

Apertome said...

Wow, man, that is some absolutely killer scenery. I've got to get out there one of these days!

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