After spending some time in Portland, Erin, me, and my new friends Colleen and Nate decided to take advantage of our rental car to explore
the mountainous countryside. Our foursome had become quite close over the past days… we called ourselves “the misfits”. So after downing eggs benedict at The Tin Shed for breakfast, we stocked up on gas, crackers and cheese and set out on a journey east down the scenic Columbia River Gorge. This famed road winds along the edge of a valley and river which separates Oregon from Washington and the views are insurmountable. Every time we passed a natural rushing waterfall I forced us to stop so I could take it in. The heavy precipitation in the area allows for countless waterfalls to cascade
over rocky edges and vibrant green moss to decorate the rocks and trees. The misfits made a brief stop at The Vista House which sits high upon the river’s edge and usually boasts great views of the surroundings. Unfortunately our timing couldn’t have been worse as we got caught in a torrential downpour and couldn’t see a thing. Our picture is less than perfect… making it actually
perfect for us misfits.
The main event on the Columbia River Gorge is Multnomah Falls –
the second largest waterfall in the United States at 620 feet. The waterfall was
breathtaking and easily trumped the others on which I hitherto wasted memory
card space. The top fall is strong and takes a short drop-off before flowing
into the base of the cliff – separated by a picturesque stone bridge. We had fun
taking photos and emulating romantic couples at the scene.
Part two of the daytrip: The misfits drive further east into the rural town of Hood River – a mountainous escape bountifully dotted with wineries and fresh grapevines. The sun came out for our self-guided winery crawl… We
began at Marchesi winery where we sipped red and white wines and enjoyed the
quaint tasting room hosting views of its abundant grape farm. A few glasses
later, we hopped back in the car and headed for another winery, getting lost in
the winding roads along the way. We ate fresh cheese and crackers to hold us
over until we found Cathedral Ridge winery where we continued our wine-tasting
extravaganza. Next it was on to the next stop in the town of Hood River itself
–The Naked Winery. The place lacked authenticity but we enjoyed the live music
and strange occupants wearing ballroom dancing shoes and showing off their
At this point we were all significantly buzzed and the majority of the wineries had closed… so where to? A brewery of course! We loved tasting the range of house-brewed lagers and playing countless rounds of Apples to Apples until sunset. We later headed back to Portland but not without a detour through Washington and about two hours of traffic. We settled in at a bar in
Portland and continued our Apples to Apples marathon. It had been a fun-filled and ‘gorgeous’ day in the Gorge. Pun intended.
For Photos from Oregon visit the Photos page or click here!