Can you imagine what Lewis and Clark thought about the awesome majesty of the Columbia River Gorge?
You actually can by read what they thought through their journals. Both wrote about it, as did several of their men.
As for us, we thought it was awesome too. We really did enjoy the Columbia Gorge Inn last night. Both had a good rest, and the smoke cleared out this morning. Though a little pricey, the beds and pillows were good, and the views were awesome. Before we left, we took more photos from high up on the south side of the gorge. Can you imagine how Lewis, Clark, and their men felt as they floated through this beautiful gorge?
The gorge was created by the Columbia River as it cuts through the Cascade Mountains.
We had breakfast in the formal dining room downstairs with the old-fashioned 20s style windows overlooking the gorge. This is not a bed and breakfast so we had to pay for our breakfast. We’ve learned that the more you pay for a hotel, the fewer amenities you receive; but we also understand that it takes a lot of money to maintain these old gems.
Chuck ordered oatmeal, and I ordered an omelet. The omelet was enough for both of us so we shared it. Everything was delicious, the service was great, and again the views were amazing.
One thing we learned is that this is one area where you want to stay on the interstate. Interstate 84 follows right next to the shoreline of the Columbia River’s southern shore. The drives are sweeping beautiful views. There is no blue highway that has such river scenery on this side of the river. Historic US 30, though, does move east to west through this area, but it is a more forested drive.
By the way, US 30 also known as the Historic Columbia River Highway was the first highway in America built specifically for scenic touring, thus the reason that our hotel was built at the same time as the road.
All up and down I-84 there are historical signs about the expedition and viewpoints. Of course, I didn’t want to miss a thing, so Chuck got a little tired of stopping, I believe.
After we left the gorge we entered an area where we ran into smoke, smog, or fog. We’re just unsure exactly what this was. We ran into this close to Multnomah Falls not too far from Portland. You access the falls from the interstate by a parking lot in the median of I-84.
Multnomah Falls is a really beautiful cascade falling from high over the rocks above. It is the second tallest continuous waterfall in the United States at over 600′ high. It is also Oregon’s biggest tourist stop probably because it is right next to the interstate.
Lewis and Clark camped nearby and wrote about it in their journals going to the Pacific and again on their return.
We hiked up to the upper bridge. Chuck fell and hurt his knee while fishing in Idaho earlier, so we felt it probably wasn’t a good idea to go the mile and a half farther to the top of the falls.
The falls according to local Indian lore were provided for a beautiful Indian princess who needed a place to bathe. What a great bath tub!
After Multnomah Falls we left the interstate and started following Historic Old US 30, the highway originally built through here. We immediately climbed higher up over the Columbia River Valley into the forest, and the forest drive was beautiful, a green-shaded tunnel of vegetation. An entirely different scenery. We took this road so we didn’t have to drive near Portland. I-84 goes through Portland.
We stopped at a restaurant called the Tippy Canoe and ate outdoors on their patio, a wonderful lunch of a Reuben, soup, and salad. A salad seems to be the only vegetables I can find here in Oregon. The mountain air was cool and refreshing.
We found that this area is very expensive to travel through. The hotels are expensive as well as the food in the restaurants. And to add insult to injury the bed and gas taxes are expensive as well, though there are no sales taxes.
Like Lewis and Clark we are on our way to a little town called Seaside, Oregon which is just south of Astoria. Between Seaside and Astoria is where the Lewis and Clark expedition spent the winter after spending some time at Cape Disappointment. More on that tomorrow. We traveled west on US 30 until we got to US 101 going south.
Seaside is just as its name implies and is ocated on US 101. There are numerous hotels and motels, great streets for walking, shops for shopping, and a vast beach. On the beach was a big beach volleyball tournament. There were lots of nets available for private practices and games, too. It was a festive atmosphere.
We stayed in a downtown hotel within walking distance of the beach. We know that Capt. William Clark came through here sometime in the winter of 1805-1806, because he mentioned in his journal that the Indians alerted him to a giant whale that has washed up on the beach near current day Cannon Beach. He used the beach to explore this area on his way to see the whale. There is a statue of him and Lewis in Seaside at the water’s edge.