Turning Towards Home

Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Today we pulled out of Portland, made a pit stop at a foggy Mt. St. Helens, before dropping our luggage at the night’s hotel and heading into downtown Seattle to return the rental car. After one last tour through Pike’s Place Market and impromptu stop at the Elliot Bay Bookstore Café, we took a somewhat shady bus ride back to the hotel and here we sit. Tomorrow we return to the Midwest: for me, it’s just a rest stop before next week’s NYC trip; for Andy, it’s the return to home and everyday life.

Saturday’s rest day proved highly effective: it’s been a busy couple days. On Sunday we had a chance to catch up with a friend. After brunch in a restored Victorian house, we headed out to the Multnomah Falls. Located about a half hour outside of in the Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls attracts pretty much every Oregonian and their grandma on a sunny Sunday. On the ride out to the falls, we caught a great glimpse of Mt. Hood in the distance. Unfortunately, the pictures Andy snapped of the mountain turned out about as well as my pictures of Mt. Rainer from my Sept. 2008 trip to Seattle.

I swear, there are mountains in those pictures . . . somewhere.

While it certainly wasn’t meant as such, this trip’s turned into something of a Twilight trip. Multnomah Falls which plunges 542 ft and then another 69 ft makes a cameo appearance in the Twilight film during the baseball game.
It’s a steep mile-long hike with 11 switchbacks to get to the top of the cliff where the fall makes its dramatic drop. Wood sorrel and trillium dots the cliff's side.

Headed back to the guesthouse for a round of National Parks Monopoly and a cookout in the backyard.

We weren't quite done with the Columbia River Gorge. Yesterday we did a circle tour of sorts, out of Portland, down around Mt. Hood and back up into Portland via the Columbia River Gorge. Although it was apparently snowing on top of Mt. Hood - we didn't get spectacular views, we had some nice hikes in the Multnomah Falls: one at the Horsetail Falls where you actually get to hike underneath the rock the waterfall plunges off of and another short poke through a gorge.

Had a lovely dinner at Jake's Famous Crawfish in downtown Portland last night. Today we took a slight detour to see some Mt. St. Helens stop. It was far too foggy to see any of the blast zone (a real pea-souper, so to speak) but we had a nice stop at the interpretative center near Silver Lake. We will have to go back sometime when the view is better.

We've seen a ton over the last week and a half. I'm anxious for a chance to catch my breath, but there's a part of me that sad to see the trip end.

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