Saturday, November 8, 2014

Back where it's beautiful

Don't get me wrong.  We saw some beautiful areas around the Yakima Valley.  We saw some beautiful scenery around Mt. Rainier.  But, when the chips are in the middle, I say that the Columbia River Gorge is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  I can think of a very small number of places that might match it, but I don't think anything beats it.

We were going to stay last night in Cascade Locks because it was closer to the scenic gorge area, but that park didn't have sewer hook ups and showering after a day of adventure is nice.  So we pressed on and eventually ended up staying in Gresham, OR at the very park where we first stayed for the Vancouver contract.  Great for an overnight.

This morning we woke up to somewhat dense fog.  This isn't ideal for viewing the gorge, but it is still pretty awesome in the fog.  We headed out.  On I-84 the fog stayed with us so we decided to try to climb out of it and headed up toward the Vista House at Crown Point.  Sure enough, as we made it up to the rim ridge of the gorge, the sun broke out.  We passed by the Lewis and Clark lookout and saw what we came for.

Yeah, wow. I'm not even gonna caption that one.

And that wasn't the only one.  Once up above the fog, the view was spectacular in any direction.

This one though, totally gets a caption.

Vista House looked so good we just had to go see it.  The view from there was nice too.

Michael was totally ignoring the view and hunting for mushrooms.

He has his Trader Joe's mushroom collection can.

He can put it down to be goofy.

But, of course the other big draw of the gorge is waterfalls.  And right near here is probably my favorite waterfall of all, Latourell Falls.

Loving this leaf.

Revisiting of an old favorite.

Wait for it...

Max had to climb up to perch on some rocks

The falls, finally in sight

Wait for iiiit...

Waiiit for iiiittt...
BANG, long exposure.  You know I'm nothing if not consistent.
We followed the trail back down the creek looking for a different way out, but turned back. We learned our lesson about unplanned hikes last time we were this way.

Bridges are cool

Bridges and fall colors are awesome. 

The hunter and his prey

Right here is a great place to toss up some leaves and make it rain.

Then it was time to head out to the next destination.  We decided to skip Multnomah and the crowds.  Instead we stopped at Horsetail Falls for a quick photo.

Oh yeah, you know it's coming.

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