Our final day in Portland was a series of breathtaking views, and it made me fall in love with Portland even more than I already had.
We started the morning with….how did we start the morning….? Now that several weeks have passed, I’m having a fuzzy time recollecting details of our trip. And that’s one thing I love about blogging – it gives me the opportunity to go back and savor an event again. I get to enjoy all the good stuff twice. More than that, really, because I have the option of rereading my posts and reliving the moments whenever I please.
So. Our morning. It started with another incredible breakfast, this one in the form of stacked biscuit sandwiches and plates of hashbrowns bigger than my head. Thank you, Pine State Biscuits, for that. We then hopped in our second rental car of the trip and made our way to the Historic Columbia River Highway. The route was so scenic, we found ourselves stopping at every bend to enjoy the surrounding beauty.
Early into the trip, we took in this spectacular view of the Columbia River and the Columbia River Gorge.
From there, we stopped at the Vista House at Crown Point, where we gazed upon Washington’s majestic mountains across the river. We wound our way through towers of trees, and I ogled the wide trunks and green leaves as we passed. And I took many, many pictures, from which I’ll spare you. Our next stop marked the beginning of a string of lovely waterfall hikes.
At staggered intervals along the highway, we would spot a waterfall, pull over, and hike a short trek to the top. We loved that the closer you got to the waterfall, the more damp the air would feel, and the fresher it smelled. Now I will say, a picture of a waterfall (specifically my amateur shots) just doesn’t capture the essence of all that a waterfall is; in a picture, you can’t hear the grand crash of rushing water into the pool below or see the shimmer of droplets dancing about.
The largest of these was Multnomah Falls, where water rushes into a bubbling pool from 600 feet above. We climbed to the Benson Footbridge, which carries hikers across the lower portion of the fall, but decided not to continue further, as there was much else to see.
Our most extensive hike of the afternoon was a trail called Wahclella Falls. The trailhead started aside a gurgling brook…
…then continued past a smaller waterfall, wound up and down through luscious trees, across a wooden bridge, and culminated with us standing at the base of this gorgeous waterfall.
I determined right then and there that there is no better feeling than being sweaty from a hike, finding reward from the effort in beholding the beautiful site of a waterfall, and then being sprayed with its refreshing mist. I stood on a large rock with my arms outstretched, and it was delightful and glorious and made me feel wonderfully alive. We eventually hiked back, then finished our driving journey by twirling up Mt. Hood in all its snow-capped glory.
And then, sadly, we had to head back to the airport to catch our flight. It was all I could do to force myself onto the airplane after such a splendid day.
I can see
My rainbow calling me
Through the misty breeze
Of my waterfall
Jimi Hendrix, May This Be Love (Waterfall)