Monday morning I checked out of the Hilton in downtown Portland and took a cab to the airport to pick up my rental car. My GPS was loaded with my route and I hit I-84 eastbound for 20 miles to pick up the still intact stretch of old Historic U.S. 30 that runs parallel to I-84 for several miles, now designated as the Historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway .
This short stretch of historic road is packed with scenic vistas, curves, and waterfalls. As I drove along, I was imagining what it must have been like to travel this road before interstates were built, when it was a major east-west highway across the country. This little stretch was narrow and twisty in many places, and it traversed little stone bridges with moss-covered stone guardrails. The roadbed was carved out of the hillside, the stone cliffs hanging over the roadway in places. A comfortable speed along this road was 20-35 mph, certainly a far cry from the pace we keep on interstates.
|Everything is covered in moss...so gorgeous!|
A beautiful turn-out at the Portland Womens Forum Park, with great views out over the Columbia River Gorge:
|View from Chanticleer overlook. Crown Point and Vista House|
can be seen from this vantage point.
A few miles later, I came to the stunning Crown Point Vista House, built in 1917 to be the jewel in the crown that was the newly completed highway, and as a memorial to the Oregon pioneers:
|Crown Point Vista House|
|View from the Vista House balcony, looking east|
|View from the Vista House balcony, looking west|
I continued east on this gem of a road until I came to the first of several waterfalls, Latourell Falls.
|Example of the many little stone bridges, their railings coated in moss|
|Steep trail to the viewing point for Latourell Falls|
A few mile later, I came to Wahkeena Falls, a beautiful multi-tier falls that were well worth the uphill hike to get to the midpoint of the falls for a great view of the top half and the lower half of the falls:
|0.2 mile switchback trail to viewing point of Wahkeena Falls|
|Top half of Wahkeena Falls|
|Looking down at the lower half of Wahkeena Falls|
I stopped at one more waterfall, the spectacular Multnomah Falls:
It was a wonderful meander along a spectacularly scenic stretch of historic highway! US 30 reunites with I-84 about 20 miles west of Hood River, so it wasn't too long before I was exiting the interstate and pulling into the portico at the Best Western Plus Hood River Inn. Beautiful hotel property! I checked in and then unloaded the car. My room is gorgeous!
|My gorgeous king room at Hood River Inn, 3rd floor with balcony|
overlooking the river
I had a late lunch of a shrimp and crab salad sandwich and glass of local wine at the hotel restaurant overlooking the river:
The view from the balcony of my room:
|View from my balcony, looking west|
|View from my balcony, looking east|
Tomorrow: A stroll into downtown Hood River.
All photos are here: Oregon Trip Album