Columbia River Gorge – Dolly Travels

Columbia River Gorge - Dolly and Randy My blog posts are usually about faraway places: Europe, New Zealand, Mexico, but today I had the lovely experience of riding through the magnificent Columbia River Gorge, right here in the United States, on the back of a motorcycle. I came up to southern Washington State several days ago, primarily to visit my eldest son and his family and to help Randy celebrate his 60th birthday. Now those festivities are in the past, but we wanted to do something fun. Sunny days have been a rarity up here during this trip; however, yesterday and today turned out to be very pleasant. Randy asked me if I would like to visit the Columbia River Gorge on his motorcycle. We left La Center, motored south past Vancouver, crossed the bridge over the Columbia River and turned east. The Columbia River is the boundary between the states of Oregon and Washington for over 80 miles. We wanted to travel the Historic Gorge Highway, which is on the Oregon side. We left the main highway, got onto the Gorge Highway, which winds up and up, twisting and turning, crossing old bridges, following along what is known as the “Waterfall Trail”, as there are several waterfalls along the route. The largest of the waterfalls is Multnomah Falls, towering 620 feet above the gorge, falling in two sections to join a stream that flows down to the Columbia River. There was so much traffic around the falls today that signs were up directing traffic away. We had to stop and take this picture from a roadside stop on the Washington side of the River. The falls are still impressive. Along the Historic Highway, we stopped at Vista House. This building was constructed in the early 1900’s as a rest stop for travelers. It is a very attractive building, built of local stone with stained glass windows and inside walls of marble. We climbed the staircase inside the building and came out onto a balcony that encircled the building, giving visitors a 360-degree view of the Columbia River, mountains in the background, farmland around small waterways. We were happy that we had talked to the young couple. They were from Melbourne, Australia, and they were having a grand time touring our Pacific Northwest. However, they were a bit embarrassed that they could not pronounce the names of places correctly. Randy told them that some of the names are of Native American extraction , so unless one was born here, the names are difficult for all of us. They were so cute and friendly. We were sorry to leave them. Later, we stopped for gas and a snack, which we had while resting at a picnic area. A young man, also riding a motorcycle, stopped and engaged Randy in a conversation about road trips, motorcycle efficiency and other motorcycle-related topics. This must be the way things are all over the world: people of like minds and interests gravitate to others of the same interests. Finally, we had to head for home. We crossed the Columbia River again, over to the Washington side, by way of the Bridge of the Gods. This is a cantilevered steel bridge. While driving across, I fcould look down and see the water about 400 feet below us. I only looked once! I had to research why it is called Bridge of the Gods. Apparently, over 600 years ago, an earthquake made a dam in the River, allowing people to cross from one side of the River to the other. Eventually, that dam washed away, and other bridges were made, with only man-made materials and labor, but the name stuck. Once on the Washington side of the River, we followed the Lewis and Clark scenic highway back to Vancouver. We had to get on the freeway for some time before Randy turned found the exit he wanted. We finished our trip by going through more farmland and peaceful scenery. I had a great time, and I am very grateful to my son who took the time to take his mother on an adventure. Thank you, Randy. Ciao for now, Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

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