As I mentioned yesterday, Ben and I took a trip to the Columbia Gorge to stay in Stevenson, Washington at Skamania Lodge for our flu-ridden anniversary weekend. We were only gone for about 24 hours, but 24 hours away from home always feels like multiple days of adventure. While I was bundled in a blanket of ibuprofen, blowing my nose excessively, and coughing uncontrollably, it was a "gorge"-ous day and I was able to watch the world fly by the car window without feeling too strained. It's rare that it's this beautiful in the Gorge - usually it's misty or freezing cold, too windy or covered in fog. On Sunday, though, we had an unseasonably warm day and it was about 60 degrees out in Stevenson through to Hood River.
After we checked out of our hotel and I wrapped myself in my Pendleton blanket and clambered into the car (sadly drinking apple juice), we decided that it'd be a shame to not do a tiny bit of exploring. We were about 30 miles out of Hood River, on the Washington side of the Columbia River and hadn't ever explored the Washington towns. We usually stick to the historic highway or I-84 when traveling through the Gorge as the Washington drive is a lot longer and hillier. Apparently that has been a mistake. The Washington leg of the trip was absolutely stunning - peppered with severe views, beautiful cliffs, shimmering lakes, wildlife, and many a tunnel that hugged the walls of the Gorge.
We drove out to White Salmon, Washington, known for the White Salmon river (a popular rafting spot) and the adjacent town to Hood River. We climbed a narrow road to the top of White Salmon, a tiny, historic town (founded in 1852) with crazy views of Mount Hood, and checked out Everybody's Brewing. The brewery had a porch with pretty views of the mountain and their beer was delicious. Ben and I split a gyro and sipped an ISA while admiring the sunshine streaming in. By the end of lunch I was feeling like I was about to perish from the flu (I'm sure the beer didn't help) and so we packed up and started the drive back into Portland. It took us about an hour and twenty minutes, as opposed to the 59 minutes it normally takes from the Hood River/Oregon side of the river, but if you're looking for a gorgeous drive with tons of pull offs, lake views, and stunning scenery, I highly recommend it.