Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Visit to Parkdale and Mount Hood in Oregon



Last Saturday, we arrived in Portland, Oregon, and drove to Mount Hood. The drive took us east, through the Columbia Gorge. It's the valley of the columbia river with mountains and rock faces on both sides. The rock walls go almost straight up; they're covered with fuzzy moss and ferns. There are numerous waterfalls on the Oregon side of the river, where we were.

The most grandiose that we saw was Multnomah Falls, (named so because water falls from a height to the bottom). There's a place to park, then you walk under Interstate 84 to reach the falls along with the attendant gift shop. The whole place is misty and damp because of the spray from the falling water. Fine, fuzzy moss covers almost everything. Of course, because of the cold, damp mist, ice cream is a big seller at the base of the falls.

We drove through Hood River, Oregon on our way to Parkdale. The path is called the "Fruit Loop" because of the Pear and Apple orchards lining the roads. The stony rock walls have less moss this far east, and at place resemble southern Utah.

We stayed at the Old Parkdale Inn in Parkdale. The innkeeper seemed to be a compulsive cleaner, an we were glad for it. It's normally a bed and breakfast ("B&B"), but their kitchen is being remodeled, so it was only a B&. Our rooms there were very nice; we stayed in the "Georgia O'Keefe" suite. It had two rooms and a private bathroom. The living room had small kitchen in one corner. Everything seemed very clean and everything important was in good working order. We'd definitely go back.



We drove up Mount Hood to the Timberline Lodge on Sunday, May 11. The drive up was remarkable -- there was snow at least ten feet deep in some places. The fir trees lining the road had snow in the branches. When we arrived at the Timberline Lodge (so named because there are no trees above the area of the lodge), we had to walk through blowing snow from our car to the lodge. We tucked Oren into my coat for the three minute walk to the front door. Snow was piled up to windows on the second story around the building.


We had Cheese Fondue, Hot Chocolate and Coffee in the Ram's Head Lounge at Timberline. With snow piled outside the windows, it was an ideal menu for a May winter lunch.

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