Mothers Day Weekend – Traveling the Historic Columbia River Highway

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As an early start to Mothers Day weekend, John, Ingrid and I decided to take a day trip across the historic Columbia River Highway on the Oregon side of the gorge.  It looks isolated, I know, but is actually only about a half hour away from our house.    The entire area is magically beautiful with its lush greenery and wispy cloud cover.  There are many, many waterfalls along the way, and I am always delighted to see them. The area has a plethora of places to hike and hang out for the day.

Our first stop was Multnomah Falls.  Ingrid was very happy to be there!  There was a moderate crowd…not bad….and it rained on and off, lightly,  with intermittent sunshine.  Could have been worse.  We, in fact, had a great time!

The falls is a 611-foot-tall, 2-tiered  roaring cascade of icy water that allows visitors to experience the power and beauty of nature up close and with ease. According to Native American folk lore, Multnomah Falls was created to win the heart of a young princess who wanted a hidden place to bathe. Although you can see the top portion of the falls from the highway, to view both tiers you have to walk to the viewing area located in a carved-out opening in the rock face , as shown in the photo below.

ings and stacy multnomah

Creating these memories together is the best part of these little trips.

My daughter had given us a gift certificate awhile back, so we decided to use it and eat lunch at the lodge.There was a big fire burning in the fireplace to take the damp chill out of the air, and  although this photo doesn’t show it, there was a stellar view from our table, of the falls crashing down the side of the mountain.

restaurant

After lunch, we took one more look at the falls, then got back into the car and headed further up the highway to the Bonneville Fish Hatchery which is located at the mouth of Tanner Creek . We took Ingrid to the basement of the visitors center to watch fish swim up the fish ladder.  They have windows located there with lit portions of the ladder.  After that, we drove across the dam to the hatchery itself.    We must have walked for miles along the grounds.  Flowers were blooming and the little ponds and forested areas were stunning.  One of my favorite sightings was this resting spot for ducks.  See them scattered across that log in the pond?

ducks on log

The highlight for Ms. Ingrid was the opportunity to meet and greet Mr. Herman the sturgeon.  Herman is about 11 feet long, weighs in at around 500 pounds, and is right around 70 years old!

herman

Here is a little video of Ingrid offering up some sugar for the old guy.

The ponds were teaming with trout.  Their rainbow scales glistened as they jumped about.

trout

Ingles  had a great time feeding the ducks!

ducks

After we explored awhile, we headed up the mountain to the Vista House with a slight detour to take a look at Horsetail Falls.

 

Horsetail Falls roars loudly and leaves quite a spray.

ingrid horsetail falls

I have written previously  about trips to the Vista House .  Ingrid fell in love with the marble and the stained glass windows and patina’d brass.

brass ball

We walked all the way to the top, down to the basement and back up again.

ingrid on stairs

This brief video can give you an idea about how glorious the view was yesterday, but even this doesn’t begin to capture the serenity and feeling of peacefulness  that this beautiful location imparts.  It is an absolutely stunning location!  The views seem different every time we go, because the big sky plays such a huge role in the overall appearance of the view.  The Columbia majestically twists and turns its way through the Cascades.  Lovely, in every respect, and so amazingly close to home!  We visit here often.

We headed back to Portland for a quiet family evening together. On our way back, a special someone called to wish me Happy Mothers Day, and to remind me that I am loved.  I appreciated that so very much at that particular moment. Love is the answer to just about everything, folks, and this friend reminds me of that each time that we speak.

Ingrid had a sleepover with us that night, and woke me this morning with a beautiful little music box playing Beethoven’s, “Fur Elise”

Perfection!

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