The Columbia River Gorge

We stayed in Portland our first night and headed out to the Columbia River Gorge on Day 2.  Only half an hour east of Portland is one of the true gems of the US.  I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Typical view along the Historic Columbia River Highway

Typical view along the Historic Columbia River Highway

The Columbia River

The Columbia River

Waukeenah Falls

Waukeenah Falls

Another magnificent waterfall

Another magnificent waterfall

So lush!

So lush!

I read online that Oneonta Gorge is one of the best hikes in the area. The only problem is that it requires you to wade through waist deep ice cold water. I wanted to do it but I really under estimated just how cold the water would be.  The hike starts by climbing a log jam and we didn’t even get past that.

Oneonta Gorge - We didn't make it

Oneonta Gorge – We didn’t make it

The Bonneville Dam. Picture is taken in Oregon; across the river is Washington

The Bonneville Dam. Picture is taken in Oregon; across the river is Washington

View from Bridge of the Gods

View from Bridge of the Gods

That evening, we stayed at Karen and Chris’ home; a lovely rental I booked on airbnb.  It was so serene and beautiful and definitely one of the highlights of this amazing weekend getaway. Our hosts were very helpful and the apartment was better than I had expected. We enjoyed some locally brewed beer at the Walking Man Brewery in Stevenson, the town just down the road and bought a steak to grill back at home base.

We stayed in the bottom unit

We stayed in the bottom unit

View from Karen & Chris' beautiful house

View from Karen & Chris’ beautiful house

Flowers at Karen & Chris' house

Flowers at Karen & Chris’ house

A lovely creek on the property

A lovely creek on the property

The next morning, we headed farther east for Hood River, the windsurfing/kiteboarding capital of …the world?

Hood River kiteboarding

Hood River kiteboarding

Benji was too busy playing; he didn't care about the kiteboarders

Benji was too busy playing; he didn’t care about the kiteboarders

Then, we headed south to Mt. Hood and stopped at several interesting farms.  The first was a lavender farm; it was a bit too feminine for Henry. I could tell that he wanted to leave as soon as we arrived.

Lavender farm

Lavender farm

Flowers at the lavender farm

Flowers at the lavender farm

The second stop was a cute alpaca farm.  The alpacas are sheared once a year and we arrived the day after they were sheared. They looked ridiculously hilarious and cute with their long skinny bodies and big fluffy heads.

Alpacas in Hood River, not Peru

Alpacas in Hood River, not Peru

Such pretty eyes

Such pretty eyes

For 25 cents, you can feed the alpacas

For 25 cents, you can feed the alpacas

We also headed up to Timberline Lodge in the mountain, where there was still snow in June. Benjamin got his first taste of snow.  Time passed way too quickly and it was already time to head to the airport.  On the way, I experienced another uniquely Oregon experience. We pulled into the gas station to top off the rental car and as I headed out to pay (I wanted the points on my Delta American Express), Henry shouted to remind me not to touch the pump.  In no time, an attendant came up to us to pump our gas.

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