Points West (Part 2)

After leaving Portland we headed east on I-84 following the Columbia River Gorge. We were going to stop at Multnomah Falls but there were signs that the park was at full capacity. It was the 4th of July weekend. Our next stop was at the Bridge of the Gods. You get to walk across this fairly narrow bridge (you share the road with vehicles going in opposite directions) crossing from Oregon into Washington. You have to walk single file across the bridge facing traffic and then return doing the same thing. The bridge is very high (141 feet approximately above the river). There was a constant wind blowing through the gorge. If you’re afraid of heights it can be a bit jarring looking through the grates or over the edge as you walk across. The bridge is also a part of the PCT (Pacific Coast Trail). We met a couple who were walking the trail on their way through to the Canadian border.

Bridge of the Gods looking towards Oregon from the Washington State side
Looking west through the Columbia River Gorge (sternwheeler boat heading east) and the Cascade Mountain backdrop
Looking east from the bridge
Sternwheeler heading up the Columbia River
This couple were hiking the PCT (her name, she said, is Train Wreck). I didn’t get his name)
a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail crosses the Bridge of the Gods.

Next stop was Viento State Park to stretch our legs. We saw lots of windsurfers fighting the wind coming through the Gorge.

Viento State Park, Oregon
She was a little thing, I can’t believe who strong she was as I watched her fight the wind and then hauling the board and sail back on to shore.
Impressive athlete

We continued on to Hood River, which is a very vibrant, modern, touristy town. We walked around for a bit and then headed across the Hood River Bridge, back into Washington State to our next stop. We were scheduled to spend a couple of nights at The Society Hotel in Bingen, Washington.

The Society Hotel had only been open for a few weeks before we arrived. It is a newly converted schoolhouse with a brand new spa. It’s off the beaten path and a nice change from the overcrowded, commercial Hood River. Very relaxing and comfortable. This would be the first of several beautiful places Kim and Aaron chose for us to stay that were outstanding.

Tomorrow we would need to wake up early and travel back over into Oregon to Maupin to go white river rafting on the Deschute River. It would be a long but adventurous day.