We left Portland at around 1 p.m. today, to head toward Multnomah Falls. The air was crisp and clean and the sun shown beautifully upon Mt. Hood in the distance. Her white tipped peaks stood as beacons to all that is beautiful…all that is the Pacific Northwest. Mt. Hood was not our destination this time, however. She just watched over us as we drove toward the falls.
We stopped at the Vista House that overlooks the Columbia River. It was was built in 1916 during the same period as the Columbia River Highway – today known as the Historic Columbia River Highway. The highway still serves as the only route to Crown Point. The official opening of the Columbia River Highway (from Portland to Hood River) was on June 6, 1916. The dedication took place at Crown Point, 733 feet above the Columbia River. Construction of Vista House began that same year. The octagonal building with its copper dome now houses a museum, gift shop and interpretive display of historic and geologic points of interest in the Gorge. The architect of the Vista House was Edgar Lazarus, brother to Emma Lazarus who wrote the poem of the Statue of Liberty. In 1974 Vista House was added to the National Register of Historic Places (Building #74001705). In the mid-2000s Vista House was rennovated and opened for visitors in the summer of 2005.
The view couldn’t have been better!
When we left the Vista House, we made a wrong turn. Rather than going straight to Multnomah Falls, our alternate route caused us to drive to the top of Larch Mountain. Lovely! Those errors in navigation are the kind that we both love. We discovered this a potential hiking trail that we had not yet seen before. Now, it’s on the list, and we will return with a picnic and our hiking boots one day. Just beautiful up there!
We eventually did wander back down the mountain, however, and finally ended up at the falls.
We had a lovely lunch at the lodge, seated outdoors under the shade of black umbrellas. After we ate, we walked around the falls area and took some photos. Then we walked to the car and prepared to head back to Portland. We drove home, along the Columbia River Gorge.
I’d call this day a success.