Since arriving in Portland, Oregon late Monday afternoon, we've been having an amazing, busy time and have been on the go almost every minute! I've already fallen way behind on blogging, and it will take a week of rainy days to get caught up completely.
But before we even start blogging Portland, I wanted to share our photos from the absolutely stunning drive we had heading west from Walla Walla in eastern Washington State. We got some great travel tips from my friends Terese and Teri, so we took our time and enjoyed the beautiful sights along the way.
The Columbia River Gorge is absolutely "GORGE-ous"! The first dramatic sights began right after we turned off WA Highway 12 onto Highway 730 near Wallula. All of a sudden we came over a hill and the Columbia River was right THERE, staring us in the face. We were greeted with amazing gorge views like these. And of course it was much more dramatic in three dimensions than flat photographs can begin to show.
We crossed into Oregon soon after and would drive westward along the Columbia River for miles and miles, seeing dramatic cliffs, wind farms, and breathtaking views everywhere we looked.
There were quite a few bridges across the river between Oregon and Washington, all unique in design.
As Terese told us, rather abruptly the scenery would change from dry, brown desert-like landscapes to green, forested, and lush. She was absolutely right. It does happen suddenly and takes you by surprise. And even though the sky was a bit hazy as we headed further west, all of a sudden we caught a glimpse of Mount Hood in the distance, looking incredibly regal, as if it were standing guard over the valley below. Wow!
We paid $1 toll to cross over to Washington to see the views from a different angle on this pretty green bridge. You can see how many evergreens grace the river banks now. Washington is called "the Evergreen State" for good reason!
The sun wasn't right to get any good photos of the Oregon side, so a bit over 20 miles farther west we paid another $1 to cross over this bridge back to Oregon.
Soon thereafter, we chose to get off the interstate and take the winding, scenic old highway 30 past a group of waterfalls in this area. Both Teri and Terese had highly recommended checking them out.
Next on the agenda was the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon, Multnomah.
We made one final quick photo stop at a viewpoint at the pinnacle of the windy climb up Highway 30. Here's the building at the pinnacle.
And the view from above, which was stunning. Contrast this with the rocky view when we first encountered the Columbia River Gorge earlier in the day, and you can really see the difference in landscape features.
It was refreshing to be back in an area with so many trees after the more arid eastern Washington landscape we'd been living in for a couple of months (although my hair is not a fan of the humidity!)
When we got into the Portland Metro area shortly after taking this final photo, we had to deal with tons of commuter traffic and the serenity we felt on this beautiful drive quickly fell away. But there were still plenty of good times to come, so stay tuned!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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