Posted by: sunnyharvy | January 12, 2015

The Mighty Columbia

If you haven’t traveled the area, you may not know that the Columbia River has the greatest flow of any North American river draining into the Pacific. It runs 1,243 miles from the rocky mountains in British Columbia, Canada, south through Washington State, and west through the spectacular Columbia River Gorge, which forms the state border between Washington and Oregon.

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View from Milepost 25 in Washington on one of two sunny days while we were there.

The gorge is the largest national scenic area in the United States and has the greatest concentration of waterfalls in North America. We spent six days along it’s shores first heading east on the Washington side then returning west on the Oregon side. We often did not have the best photo taking weather, so I include this link so you can see it’s majestic beauty as captured by others.

Our first night on the river was in Camas as shown on my previous post. The next day we spent a few hours touring the informative and fascinating Columbia River Gorge Interpretive Center Museum. Unfortunately, we didn’t finish there until near dark so we had to find a quick place to boondock for the night. We found a very scenic spot right on the river, but it turned out to be extremely windy so we didn’t sleep very well.

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1921 Mack log hauling truck

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Lunch spot at the Bonneville Dam

Continuing east the next day we went as far as Maryhill before crossing over to Oregon so I could see this Stonehenge replica built in 1918 as a WWI memorial.

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That evening we camped at Indian Creek Golf Club at Hood River courtesy of RVGolfClub, a new organization we recently joined that allows us to stay one or two nights for free at golf courses and country clubs across the country.  We enjoyed a glass of wine and delicious appetizers at Divots, the club’s restaurant.

My cousin Stan and his wife Pam, who live in nearby Portland, drove out to  join us for lunch at the Full Sail Brewery. Afterwards we all took a walk around the charming downtown area.

We moved on to WAAAM (Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum) for our next night’s lodging through Harvest Hosts, another great organization for RVers. What a pleasant surprise this place was! WAAAM has one of the largest collections of still-flying antique aeroplanes and still-driving antique automobiles in the country.  The items on display at this museum are not only full of history, they’re full of LIFE! We had a blast there on Saturday, which as luck would have it was a “Second Saturday,” which is when they take a select few vehicles from their collection out for a spin.

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Beautifully restored Cord automobile plus a few similar vintage aeroplanes.

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This Waco was ordered by a 24-year old heiress back in the day.

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The airplane and a couple of the vehicles that were taken out the day we visited.

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The head of restorations at the museum gave a great tour of his shop and a few of the current projects.

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Leslie taking control in the kids room.

Our last day on the Columbia River Gorge was mostly spent driving beautiful toward Portland on Historic Route 30. Along the way we stopped at Cascade Locks and the fish hatchery at Bonneville Dam.

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Native Indian fishing platforms in the old lock at Cascade Locks.

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This sturgeon is 75- years old and over ten feet long.

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 Horsetail Falls

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Multnomah Falls

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Wahkeenah Falls

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Commerce on the river – lots of trains, barges and trucks all day and night, in both directions.

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View from Vista House – click to see larger.

We are now spending a couple days in Portland parked in fellow Westie owner’s (Rob & Sue) driveway. Heading in to enjoy some homemade smoked salmon chowder right now. Thanks for the generous hospitality! Fifteen nights back on the road and just ONE night of camping paid for – can’t beat that!

Next up: a leisurely meander down the West Coast.

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Responses

  1. what beautiful waterfalls! how do you know how old the sturgeon is?

    • They had a recording that told us all about Herman. 🙂

  2. Hi guys – I made a trip along the Columbia River Gorge with my mom some years back. We went east to Spokane and visited her sister’s daughters and their families. They took us to Coeur d’Alene for lunch which is one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen. I envy your trip down the west coast. I particularly love the “Lost Coast” and the Shelter Cove area and actually all of it. Should be really nice now that there has been some rain. Have Fun!

  3. Glad you’re having fun in our neck of the woods. You’re giving me some local trip ideas!


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