Ben took a day off of studying this weekend so that we could adventure along the historic Columbia River Highway. We had a hankering for windy roads, stone work, and trees drooping into the center of the street, heavy with green leaves. The historic highway was built in 1931. It starts in Gresham (right 15 minutes out of Portland) and ends in The Dalles, passing through Hood River on its way East. Some pieces of it merge into I-84 (the highway that goes from Oregon through to Boise and Salt Lake City) but the rest is gorgeous narrow roads surrounded by original stone work and amazing waterfalls right off of the roadside.
We started our trip in Corbett, a tiny town that boasts a great market selling their own beef jerky and smoked and candied salmon (yum!) and is right near the Women's Forum (a weirdly named lookout point) and Vista House at Crown Point. Those two landmarks and easy stops will give you sweeping views of the river, which flows along the border of Washington and Oregon.
Our first waterfall stop-off was Latourell falls. At Latourell we walked down the short path to the base of the waterfall where flowers were blooming, ferns thriving, and the wind whipping from displaced air from the falls. These falls tumble over a basalt rock face that's awesome to see in person.
We then stopped at one of our favorite waterfalls - Bridal Veil falls - to take a scenic overlook tour. Even though it was chilly and overcast, we did get to see some native tiger lilies finishing up their bloom in the vegetation and spotted some pretty birds flitting about the underbrush. June is also wildflower month in Oregon and every field and trail is peppered with deep purples, bright yellows, oranges and fuchsia colored blossoms that seem unexpected in such a green, primarily pine forest.
We ended our trip in Hood River, one of the best little towns along the river and home to Full Sail Brewery, Double Mountain brewery, a host of wineries like Naked, and whipping winds that make it a wind-surfing hotspot. We stopped by the hotel we stayed at last time we were in Hood River to see their blooming gardens full of lilies, roses, and dogwood trees. It's so different to see everything in the warmer months when trees and flowers are abloom, rather than the stark contrast of bare branches on bare rock.
To end, Hop Lava and Clusterf#ck IPA at Double Mountain brewery in the heart of downtown Hood River where we smelled their delicious pizzas but exercised extreme willpower to head home and make our own.
Hope you're all having a gorgeous weekend!