Our expedition spirits thrived today as we explored the lower reaches of the mighty Columbia River. Photo opportunities abounded during our early morning visit to spectacular Multnomah Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in North America. Some of us hiked across the graceful Benson Footbridge to get a closer look, while others lingered at the base of the falls to drink it the spectacle.
We also paid our respects to Herman the Sturgeon, the star attraction of the nearby Bonneville Fish Hatchery. Weighing in at some 500 pounds and stretching a full ten feet in length, Herman is happily retired from his annual appearances at the Oregon State Fair. He now resides contently as the patriarch of one of the oldest fish hatcheries in the Pacific Northwest.
Lunch was a treat at the farm-to-table Mountain View Orchards, owned and operated by three generations of family farmers in the Hood River Valley. We were fortunate to be among the first visitors to the newly opened wine tasting room and adjacent “cidery.” Having seen up-close-and-personal the operations of the orchards and vineyard, we heartily concurred with the sentiments of Wendell Berry: “A significant part of the pleasure of eating is one’s accurate consciousness of the lives and world in which the food comes from.”
In the afternoon, we hiked the trails atop monumental Rowena Crest and toured the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum, an extraordinary Smithsonian-quality collection of technological innovation from earlier eras.
It was a day of adventure and discovery, all accomplished in a most expeditious way!