Latourelle Falls

I was so happy to make it out to the Columbia River Gorge this past weekend – mostly to Latourelle Falls, due to there being so many people trying to get out and enjoy the nice weather the day we went.

First stop was the Portland Women’s Forum. We had a great view of Crown Point and Vista House. Next, we tried to stop at Crown Point, but there was only enough parking for one of our cars to stop. (We had three vehicles going out there with all the relatives in town.)

So, off we went to Latourelle Falls. I happily walked around there for a bit taking photos all the while, not realizing I was going to pay for it later as I’d had an injury to my tailbone that was starting to feel better, but wasn’t all the way healed up yet, and this trip triggered me to go right back to that first day of pain and start the healing process all over again. Wah.

Next, we tried to go to Multnomah Falls – apparently a landslide a week or so earlier had dumped 30 cubic yards, or three truckloads, of debris on the road so the road was shut down and still had not been cleared for through traffic the next week on the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Highway between Angels Rest and Multnomah Falls. So all the cars trying to get through were turning around and heading down to the freeway to try and get to Multnomah Falls that way. But, the parking lot off the freeway was full, so we had to keep going. We could see a pile up of cars trying to get in from the other direction, so we decided not to try and go there after all. For me, this was probably a blessing in disguise because at that time, little did I know I was making my tailbone injury worse until the pain started creeping back in later that day. I’m sure I would have at least tried to hike up to the upper bridge and I’d probably be in a lot worse shape now if I had.

Instead, it was on to Horsetail Falls. Again, the Oregonians seemed to be out in droves trying to enjoy one of the first days of nice weather we’ve had since winter began. There was no parking to be found. That waterfall is pretty close to the road, so we just did a drive by of that one without getting out of the car.

And, without having done much hiking to earn our treat at the end of our day trip, we ended up at East Wind restaurant up at Cascade Locks where we like to finish the day when we go out to the Columbia River Gorge.

We thought we’d go back the next day and try to make it to Multnomah Falls, but we were probably too sorry of a lot by then – me with my tailbone injury, my cousin with MS, my dad with his neuropathy and my mom had chemo all morning. So we didn’t attempt another trip. Sadly, I’m probably not going to make it back out there for another month or so while trying to heal up, but it sure was nice to get out there again.

 

Latourelle Falls
Latourelle Falls

 

The bridge at Latourelle Falls
The bridge at Latourelle Falls

 

Who's that tripping over my bridge?
Who’s that tripping over my bridge?

 

Moss on the bridge
Moss on the bridge

 

Latourelle Bridge
Latourelle Bridge

 

Ethereal
Ethereal

 

East Wind Drive In
East Wind Drive In

Ending the day at Cascade Locks

Cascade Locks often times is the end of a long days adventure in the Columbia River Gorge. We usually like to get ice cream at East Wind Drive In, and my son and I like to go over to Marine Park next door and walk around. The Sternwheeler, a large paddle wheel boat, is located there near the Locks Waterfront Grill. There’s a wonderful bronze sculpture that I love of Sacagawea and Seaman, the dog, in Sacagawea Circle to the side of the Grill, and a funny Sasquatch carving out behind the Grill that is just too cute in all of his glorious grumpiness.

 

Sasquatch & the Sternwheeler
Sasquatch & the Sternwheeler

There are even a few love locks started on the fence facing the Sternwheeler. They started the love locks several years ago, but it hasn’t really taken off as well as it would if it was in a more urban area. If you ever make it out that way, remember to bring your love locks to attach to the fence and throw away the key, locking in your love forever. Blah, blah, blah… And all that other romantic BS. But yes, bring them anyway, whether you’re romantic or not, so I can take photos of them somewhere down the road on a future trip. After all, what better place to lock in your love than in Cascade Locks?

 

Love locks at Cascade Locks
Love locks at Cascade Locks

 

It’s usually a breezy walk along the path on the waterfront, but even more so once you head on over to Thunder Island. Sometimes you catch fishermen on the fishing platforms along the water, but other days there’s not a single one in sight. We didn’t see any this time around. I believe they refer to these as the Indian Fishing Platforms. You’ll even notice they have no trespassing signs them as well.

 

Fishing platform
Fishing platform

 

There are mysterious looking stairs leading right down into the water with nowhere to go. Perhaps a tiny boat docking area? These are in the canal between Thunder Island and the mainland. Which is also where the fishing platforms are.

 

Lichen covered stairway to the Columbia River
Lichen covered stairway to the Columbia River

 

The view looking towards the Bridge of the Gods off of the boat docking area is amazing! Just wow. I love the Pacific Northwest. When it’s not raining.

 

Jetty pointing to the Bridge of the Gods
Jetty pointing to the Bridge of the Gods

 

It looks like you can have a wedding or party out on Thunder Island. There is a wooden arch out near the river with a view of a tiny island right behind it. What a gorgeous place to have a wedding!

 

Looking through the wedding arch
Tiny island framed by the wedding arch