The title is kind of misnomer because though we landed in Portland, the only time we spent in the city was while dining in one of the restaurants on our way back to the airport. We spent most of the time exploring 3 different destinations outside the city and rest of the time at our friend's apartment in Hillboro. Our good friends are leaving to Ireland in a month and it was nice, as always, to spend time with them and we also had a chance to spend some time with my brother-in-law who moved to the city only a week ago. All in all, it was time well spent and I would like to share my experience of the 3 popular destinations that we have been to.
On Day 1, we headed to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area which has a beautiful landscape along with several waterfalls including the popular Multnomah waterfalls. The weather was perfect and we couldn't have asked for a better day in Portland. The best way to explore this area is to take the Exit 22 from I-84 and turn right onto Corbett Hill Road, following it until you see a sign for the Historic Columbia River Highway. The drive continues through forest area and leads to several waterfalls, scenic viewpoints and hiking trails. We stopped at a few scenic viewpoints to enjoy the beautiful landscape and did short hikes to check out a couple of waterfalls before heading to the famous Multnomah waterfalls.
|Portland Women's Forum State Scenic Viewpoint - We almost missed it reading the name|
On our way to the Multnomah Falls, we got stuck in the two-lane road leading to it for about an hour and half due to the heavy tourist outflow on that especially pleasant day in the long weekend. Being stuck in the car for that long not knowing how long it is going to take isn't fun at all and I was thinking to myself, "The view better be worth it."And boy, it was definitely worth it. It would easily count among the most romantic places on earth, if you ignore the crowds. According to Native American lore, Multnomah Falls was created to win the heart of a young princess who wanted a hidden place to bathe. Well, I can't think of a better way to win a girl's heart. Can you? (Ignoring all the Tiffany ladies here ;)
|Two-tiered Multnomah Waterfalls|
The falls aren't huge and when you see the top portion of the falls from the highway, they look normal. But if you take the time to walk to the base of the Falls, one look at the two-tiered waterfall with a bridge in between is sure to catch your breath. And if you walk up to the bridge, you can feel the Falls and it is an exhilarating experience. If you haven't done it yet, put it on your list NOW.
We then had a quick lunch and proceeded to the Mt.Hood area. Now, I have seen snow-capped mountains before, up and close, I can say. But, never have I met(?) a mountain as sexy as Mt. Hood. I won't elaborate further on that topic, but all would say is, if you show me a thousand pictures of different mountain ranges, I would be able to recognize Mt. Hood. Period.
|First View of Mt. Hood|
|Another View - You have to see it in person|
Part 2 follows...