The temperatures on the coast were in the mid-60’s for most of June, so coming out of the protective veil of ocean mists and traveling east along I-84 through Portland –where nary a fanciful food truck could get me to stop -was like running headfirst into a blast furnace.
Last Saturday, July 1, after Kate’s friends from Boulder left we headed east to our next (and last) camp in Oregon –Ainsworth State Park. This tiny campground is located along the newly refurbished Hwy. 30 near I-84 and train tracks. We knew it was going to be noisy, but had no idea it would be like living at Union Station in Denver!
The best part of this one-night stay was a cool hike to nearby Horsetail waterfall.
The next day we hiked to Multnomah Falls along with 500 other tourists (even though we started early to avoid the crowds). This vertical one-mile hike features 11 switchbacks from the lower part, near the bridge, to the overlook at the top. The trail was paved, shady and worth every step!
If you are ever in the area, be sure to stop at any of the waterfalls along Historic Hwy 30. You will be impressed – I promise!
Next stop: Timberlake Campground and RV . This well-designed and operated campground is owned by a young couple who decided to raise their family in the idyllic mountain setting 50 miles from Portland. Located north of Home Valley, WA. with Hood River, OR. just across the Columbia River, this was a great basecamp for the final few days of our trip.
We were lucky to snag a spot that had room for both vehicles to park and a quiet, private spot for Kate’s Gazelle Tent.
On the suggestion of the camp hostess, we hiked to a local favorite, Falls Creek Waterfalls. Just 15 miles north of the nearby town of Carson,WA., and up a 2.2 mile trail, the mist of the falls refreshed my overheated head and soothed my soul.
Then and there I declared this my FAVORITE waterfall of all!
After the hike we decided to venture east along Hwy 14 to the quaint village of White Salmon to sample the beverages at Everybody’s Brewing. I highly recommend their Hibiscus Red Ale and nachos. (Hiking a few miles beforehand reduces the guilt!)
View of Mt. Hood from the deck of Everyone’s Brewing restaurant in White Salmon
Side Note: Oregon knows how to brew beer and cider! One of the places we stopped in Astoria featured 44 brews on tap at a gas station/laundromat. You could get tiny samples, and buy cans or growlers to go – what a concept!
With my Oregon visit about to end, I decided to explore some areas north of Hood River (the town) along Hwy 35 known as the “Fruit Loop”.
I was met with spectacular views of Mt. Hood, wineries, orchards, fruit stands and lush mountain scenery!
One of my favorite stops was in Lavender Valley where Mt. Hood stands guard over 25 acres of ten different varieties of lavender, most in full bloom.
The end of the day found me lollygagging around the Hood River Water Park watching people of all ages kiteboarding, windsurfing, swimming, listening to music, enjoying picnics and having Fourth of July fun!
Stay tuned as Katrina, the wonder van, and I sizzle along scenic Lewis & Clark Trails on Highways 14, then Hwy. 12 winding east toward the next adventure in Gardiner MT.
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