Day #26 - Chasing Waterfalls

We woke up to the most incredible snow capped view of Mount Hood from our bedroom window. It was such a joy to see perfectly clear blue skies after the wet day before, and see where we had actually driven to. Very exciting to be at 6000ft and I could tell by the thin air, which was making things harder to do.

Breakfast was served in the most beautiful timber and stone dining room and instantly we could see the view in the opposite direction to Mount Jefferson, another volcano in the distance. The buffet was one of the most beautifully presented we had so far, with salmon, various meats, all kinds of fruit, cakes, you name it and it was there. Delicious!

After checking out we decided to go hiking along the volcanic trails from the lodge. Beautiful pine trees clung to rocks, pumice stones and volcanic silt everywhere, it had an other worldly feel to it, the snow line just above us. We managed to see a few cute little chipmunks which make the most adorable sounds when we got close to them.

It was sad to leave The Timberline Lodge and we both would love to go back again, hopefully for a ski holiday. We set off for our next planned stop, and had to get fuel. This was our first fill up since picking up the car. Knowing it was a petrol car I picked up the green nozzle and tried to put it in the hole, but it wouldn't fit! 

Panicking I got Spencer out of the car, who tried too. It still didn't fit. We spent some time looking through the manual to see which fuel the car took, perhaps we had got it wrong? There was a black nozzle and a green nozzle, and everyone knows in England green is petrol and black is diesel. Well no, it's the other way around here! We figured it out in the end and didn't fill up with the wrong fuel!

Multnomah Falls was our next planned stop. It was a quick 1 hour drive and we drove along the Columbia Gorge river basin which had been devastated by forest fires either side sadly. The waterfall came into view and it is right next to the main road which surprised me. I had romanticised about these falls for some time, and had no idea they were sitting right next to a freeway. However majestic is the word I'd use to describe them. 

We walked up to the viewing platform and had to do the classic couple photos of us and the falls. With 2 million visitors a year, it's a popular spot for tourists. We decided to walk up higher to the cute bridge in the middle. My vertigo kicked in instantly. First it feels like the ground is swaying by several meters in each direction, then the dizziness started. I ran across the middle looking at my feet almost pushing people out of my way! I got many puzzled looks from them as they probably didn't think a big strapping man like myself would be so scared. It's not even that high to most people. 

After the waterfalls we drove to our hotel on the outskirts of Portland in a lovely area called Troutdale. I had booked the Comfort Inn. We both had low expectations of this hotel. Being what we thought was something like a Travelodge and almost our lowest budget stay for the entire trip. How wrong were we, It is stylish, a great sized room with 2 queen sized beds, and we had no idea it has a gym and spa!

When in the US we decided as I'm sure many people do, to try many of the fast food chains. There are so many! How does anyone stay thin in this country I will never know. This afternoon was Arby's. My first time eating there, and the roast beef sandwich was different but nice. As we ate our food a kind gentleman sat next to us and told some ideas of things to see and do whilst here. One go see the sunset from Crown Point Vista House, and secondly a place called McMenamins Power Station.

The sunset lookout point was a 15 minute drive, and we got there just before sunset. A lot of other people were there trying to capture themselves with the beautiful colours. The view either way up the Columbia Gorge were breathtaking.

We then decided to check out Mcmenamins. It was a beautiful cluster of building, with pubs, a distillery, restaurants, a spa, a cinema and hotel etc. So people were just wandering around in white spa robes and we didn't know where to head to. But settled for a pub which served food and many types of ciders and beers. The food was delicious and we enjoyed the ciders, sampling different types. It was delightful.

We finished off the night with a hot tub spa experience at our hotel, and were very glad to be the only ones in it. That had to be one of the best and possibly most romantic days so far on this trip.