We departed Hood River under brilliant blue skies which provided stunning views of Mount Hood, a thick blanket of spring snow extending to its base. We passed the historic 1904 Columbia Gorge Hotel, and noted Mitchell Point where the Tunnel of Many Vistas is being resurrected as a walking path.
Our vantage point on the Oregon side of the Columbia River provided us with great view of the bare cliffs of Hamilton Mountain, Table Mountain, and Greenleaf Peak. These cliffs are a noted part of the Bonneville Landslide Complex, a result of the January 12, 1700, earthquake of the De Fuca Plate.
The venerable Bridge of the Gods, built in 1926, was unofficially christened by Charles Lindberg while he was piloting the Spirit of St. Louis as it flew under the bridge in September 1927.
Bonneville Dam came into view next, with its iconic powerhouse that was critical to the industrialization of the Pacific Northwest. We toured the Bonneville Fish Hatchery and the salmon gathering pens, plus ponds of rainbow trout and sturgeon including the star attraction, Herman the Sturgeon, an 11 foot long specimen that is over 80 years old.
Having a great view of 848-foot Beacon Rock enhanced our trip as we headed west. Multnomah Falls was spectacular, and we were in awe of the 611-foot drop and heavy spring water flow, which made for an impressive and mesmerizing experience.
From Multnomah Falls we went to the Columbia Gorge Interpretative Center in Stevenson, Washington. We were provided with a demonstration of the Corliss steam engine, and also the large fishwheel replica. The varied displays also provided a well-rounded experience.
After our return to Hood River, we cruised the Columbia River Gorge, transited the lock at Bonneville Lock and Dam, and departed the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. We then continued down the Columbia and Willamette Rivers to downtown Portland where we will disembark, a fitting end to a week full of superlatives and memories.