Our last day turned into one of our more active - if you can believe it. While Amy wanted to go to Mother's for breakfast on our last day, they are not open on Mondays so instead we went to Pazzo instead. Our main meal for the day.
Last night I had checked into renting a car for the day, and was told to check back in the morning. Fortunately Enterprise had a Yaris available and we were able to drop it off at the airport (all for the same price as a cab to the airport. Now - where were we going to go? We had thought of heading out to Canon Beach, where we had been in 2000, but instead we decided to see some new and drive east along the Columbia River Gorge.
Columbia Gorge - looking east - from Women's Forum Overlook, OR
We started off in the Hawthorne District (SE Portland), where ABH first lived when she moved to the city. From there we jumped onto the 84 before linking with the scenic Highway 30. Along the 30 we stopped at a couple of view points to see the Columbia Gorge before stopping at many of the waterfalls just off the road. The first stop was Latourell Falls. Here, like most of the other stops, we got out and hiked to view the waterfalls. Next stop was Sheppard's Dell, followed by Bridal Veil Falls. We also stopped at Wahkeena Falls before the major attraction on the route, Multnomah Falls. We had been to Multnomah Falls 9 years ago, and it is still as breathtaking today, though we did not hike up to the bridge to get the full effect as we wanted to see more of the beautiful Oregon / Washington Scenery.
Us @ Sheppard's Dell
Us @ Bridal Veil Falls
After Multomah Falls we continued east (back on 84) until we came to the Bridge Of The Gods, which we crossed over into Washington. We continued east through the town of Stevenson, just taking in the shear beauty of the river and its mountainous surroundings. In Bingen, WA we crossed back over the river into Oregon at Hood River. We stopped at the river for a while to watch all the windsurfers and kite-surfers. It looked like it was a blast, but it must've been cold out there. At Hood River we briefly ventured south into orchid country. Unfortunately we only had time to stop at The Gorge White House. I say unfortunately because this place was nice and there are 31 other orchids in the area. The Gorge White House grows pears, has a winery and an art gallery with old and new photos of the area. We picked up some fruit (the best pears I'd had in years) and turned back towards Portland. again, if we had more time we would have continued on to Mt Hood, which unusually, had no snow on it's peak.
We took the 84 all the way back to the airport, where we dropped off the car and waited for our flight home.
What a great weekend! There is no way we'll wait 9 years to come back here again. Portland is such a great city - maybe one we'll live in (hint again Amy). I'm pretty sure she enjoyed her graduation present.