Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

On our recent trip to Oregon, my brother Don and his wife Arvilla took the time to share some of the local splendor with me and the lovely Robin. The first stop of the day was Vista House, an observatory that stands over 700 feet above the Columbia on Crown Point and was built by Samuel Lancaster as a memorial to the pioneers. Here, he said, the view "both up and down the Columbia could be viewed in silent communion with the infinite."

The Columbia River is the second largest in North America, starting in northern Idaho and southeastern British Columbia, and traveling over 1,200 miles to the Pacific Ocean. The panoramic view of the Columbia River Gorge from Crown Point is utterly breathtaking.

Our next stop, Latourell Falls, was similarly inspiring, plunging 249 ft. over a rocky cliff. The area is replete with such waterfalls, with names such as Horsetail Falls, Ponytail Falls, Triple Falls, Fairy Falls, and Punch Bowl Falls.

Not far from Latourell Falls was Bridal Veil Falls, accessible by a half-mile or so walk from the road and parking lot.

By then my tumbly was getting rumbly, so we shared lunch in the Multnomah Falls Lodge, built in 1925 of every type of rock found in the gorge.

After lunch we walked around the restaurant to the spectacular Multnomah Falls, a 611-foot-tall cascade of water. According to Native American lore, Multnomah Falls was created to win the heart of a young princess who wanted a hidden place to bathe. Several hundred feet up from the road is Benson Bridge, which spans the falls at the first tier's misty base. The bridge is named for Simon Benson, a prominent Portland businessman who owned the falls in the early part of the 1900s. Before his death, Benson gave Multnomah Falls to the City of Portland, which later transferred ownership to the USDA Forest Service.

What fabulous sights! And good company, to boot. Thanks, Don and Arvilla.

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