Portland and the Columbia River Gorge

portland  071portland  001Our last stop in the Oregon area was Portland and the Columbia River Gorge, although our campground was located by Stevenson, Washington, on the other side of the river.  As we drove inland towards Portland we came to a detour.  Turns out the direct road was closed and the police were diverting everyone.  So we had to take the long way around.

stock-illustration-20342509-robberBut, since Portland was on our way, we had planned a couple of errands on our way there. One was a stop at Camping World. We had an unfortunate incident at our last campsite – one night someone stole our barbecue and our one-gallon propane tank – just like that. We were both pretty furious about it, and it was the first time anyone ever lifted something from our site – after a year and ten months of fulltiming. Ugh!

81lJ1qRg+wL._SL1500_Even with the detour we still had time to stop at Camping World and buy a replacement barbecue and propane tank, as well as some water filters. We also stopped at the Blue Beacon to have Island Girl washed. Not bad.

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Mt Hood Oregon

portland  013Our first day we took a driving tour of the area, including the Fruit Loop, a loop drive that goes through “approximately 35 miles of orchards, forests, farmlands and friendly communities” on both sides of the Columbia River. What a great idea to create and “event” that connects these places for visitors.

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Mt Adams Washington

portland  017Mount Hood is the backdrop for the whole area, the highest point in Oregon, 11,240 feet high. Stunning! And, on the Washington side, opposite Mount Hood stands Mount Adams, 12,281 feet high. These are the “Twin Peaks”.portland  046

portland  016While on the Fruit Loop, we stopped at several picturesque farms and bought cherries, jellies, cookies, fruit-fed pork (it was yummy!), and apple cider. I wasn’t really a cherry fan before but I love those Rainier cherries!portland  041portland  042

portland  043portland  015portland  021portland  019portland  022portland  020portland  014portland  018portland  045portland  010portland  011And we had a flight of hard ciders at one of several places offering it.  Interesting, but not my thing.portland  012

portland  032portland  024portland  026We also visited an Alpaca farm and a beautiful lavender farm. I can never resist lavender, so I bought a couple of products there also.  This was a beautiful day and we enjoyed the drive and all the stops very much.portland  025portland  028portland  023portland  029portland  030portland  031portland  035portland  033

portland  072portland  062Next we drove to Lost Lake for a hike around the lake. There is supposed to be a beautiful reflection of Mount Hood on the lake. But, alas, as we made our way there it got cloudier and cloudier, and the mountain disappeared. It was still a lovely hike.  And Angel hiked four miles!portland  070

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portland  076portland  074portland  075We recently became members of RVillage, a social network for RVers. Hans and Lisa, fulltimers who write the blog, Metamorphosis Road, found us through the website and contacted us about getting together.

They picked out a brewery in White Salmon, the town their campground was located in. So that evening, we met them at the brewery. They had a table on the deck with a great view of Mount Hood. Yes!  Oh, and I had another beer flight.

And, as is always the case with other fulltimers, we had lots to talk about. And we discovered that we both started fulltiming not only the same year, nor the same month, but on the same DAY. What are the chances of that?

We had a great time and hope to meet them down the road.

The next day, we checked out the Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood. It’s a National Historic Landmark Hotel and lovely old timey ski lodge.

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What a contraption!

What a contraption!

We were a bit surprised to see that the area was open with a ton of skiers around.  Apparently ski teams train here in the summer. When Hector asked a staff member “when do you close the ski area” – the answer was September. And when he asked “when do you reopen” – the answer was September. They close for two weeks! Too funny.

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Tim and Becky in front of the “Garage MaJal”

Next we visited Tim and Becky, two folks that we met at Mission Bay RV Campground in San Diego last winter, and who invited us to visit them while in the area.  We drove out to their lovely home in Sandy, Oregon for lunch and spent part of the afternoon there.  It was another beautiful day.  Another couple we hope to see down the road.

portland  098portland  094That evening, we met our old friends Dan and Kay for dinner at their home in Portland. Their home is on the Willamette River with gorgeous views of the river and houseboats.portland  097

Kay is a wonderful chef and she made a terrific Thai dinner.  Yum!portland  096


We’d not seen Dan and Kay for many years and it was just wonderful to see them once again.

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A salmon fishing device

A salmon fishing device

The weather, which had been a mix of clear and cloudy, became pretty cloudy and rainy, especially our last couple of days in the area.  And Hector had a very sore shoulder, so we decided to spend some time resting in the coach.   It was also calm, so we missed seeing a windsurfing event at the famous Hood River.  Bummer.portland  047portland  004portland  048portland  050portland  053portland  051

portland  054But our last day we drove over to see a couple of the famous waterfalls on the Oregon side of the river, part of Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area. Some of these are just by the side of the road, including the two that we visited.portland  055

portland  061portland  056There are actually 77 falls on the Oregon side, and they are even classified into different forms including horsetail and cascade. It’s the greatest concentration of waterfalls in North America.

The first one we saw was Horsetail Falls, seen just off the road. It’s a beautiful 176-foot waterfall and a favorite of many.portland  058

Then we stopped at Multnomah Falls, the tallest in North America after Yosemite Falls. They are actually two waterfalls, a total of 620-feet tall. We hiked as far as the iconic bridge, which crosses the falls above the lower cascade.

portland  099That evening, Dan and Kay met us at Island Girl for dinner. It’s always fun to host our friends and show them how comfy it is to live in our motorhome.portland  100

The Columbia Gorge is beautiful and definitely worthy of a longer visit, but our times with new friends and old friends made this visit extra special.

~ Brendaportland  034



12 thoughts on “Portland and the Columbia River Gorge

  1. This is such a beautiful area. We just loved out month there. Our first long hike was at the Multnomah Falls. We continued beyond all the tourist went to the very top and around down the other side. It was super fun and we’ve been hiking ever sense.

    I was wondering if you would meet up with Hans and Lisa. I knew they were staying in the same area. They are such neat people. We love hiking with them.

    Way to go Angel!! That was a great hike for her.

  2. Awesome! Loved seeing the area and learning so much about it. My uncle Bob and cousins live in Hood River. They moved there from Steamboat Springs years ago. My uncle still windsurfs and he celebrated his 80th birthday two years ago! One of these days, I must get up there to visit them. And your post really encouraged me! Thank you!

    A big hug,

  3. It was great meeting you two! It looks like you enjoyed your time in the area as much as we did!

    I sure do like your friends garage majal! We’d like to have something like that some day.

    Looking forward to running in to you guys somewhere down the road!

    • We did enjoy it, and look forward to returning to Oregon next year. I think we might see you in San Diego.

  4. Great roundup of the area. We too drove the Fruit Loop but we were early season and not much was out. It’s nice to see it in full harvest. Glad you got to meet Hans and Lisa too.


    • The gorge was gorgeous 🙂 Another place to go back to. It was fun meeting Hans and Lisa, hope to see them again.

  5. The Columbia River Gorge, imho, is one of the more beautiful places in this country. We loved those waterfalls and Hector’s stunning photographs were a wonderful way to revisit them. What fun to meet other full-timers on the road. Hopefully one day our paths will cross. Love that image of you amongst the flowers Brenda.

    • It was a lovely area. I hope we do cross paths. I love flowers very much, so I am very happy amongst them 🙂

  6. The Columbia River Gorge, imho, is one of the more beautiful places in this country. We loved those waterfalls and Hector’s stunning photographs were a wonderful way to revisit them. What fun to meet other full-timers on the road. Hopefully one day our paths will cross. Love that image of you amongst the flowers Brenda.

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