|Oregon, I take back some of the things I said about you.|
D's relatives swept into town this weekend. They easily qualify as a force of nature: unpredictable, always on the move, impossible to influence or sway. It works out favourably in the end, since D and I tend to be homebodies and they arrive with all the subtlety of a hurricane, enroll us in one of their minivan excursions, and add some who-knows-what-will-happen-next spice to the traditional days of rest. And so we blinked and found ourselves at Multnomah Falls this Sunday.
While Dad snoozes in the minivan, the six of us (Mom, Grandmother, drinking-age nephew, super-cute/crazy-ball-of-energy pre-teen nephew, D, and I) get as far as the bridge in the pic above before losing each other in the crowds. Considering this place gets 2 million visitors a year, we're lucky to eventually reunite again at all :p
Blood already pumping, D and I decide to drive back to Portland along the Historic Columbia River Highway. Instead of the lanes of concrete and speeding Walmart big rigs on neighboring I-84, this byway is the Oregon you see in promotional YouTube videos.
Eight miles up the twisting forest road is Crown Point, a panoramic lookout 733 feet above the Columbia River.
Can you feel all that fresh air from just a glance at the photos? I love places like this where the sky opens up and the view reconnects us with faraway hills.
At the top of Crown Point sits Vista House, a 97-year-old pit stop run by volunteers.
There's a tiny cafe, a wrap-around balcony, and a gift shop packed with state souvenirs. This building is actually considered an Oregon state park!
We can't stay long (renting a zipcar that day), so there is just enough time for a shot of these Vespa owners recapping their ride up the hill...
... and then we are back on the I-84 to Portland, zooming past Dairy Queens and fuel trucks and out-of-state cars packed with travel gear, still dreaming of those beautiful views from Crown Point.
A special thanks to D's family for setting their sights on Oregon for the weekend and sweeping us along with them ; )