Have you heard much about the Columbia River Gorge? Have you heard how beautiful it is, how ridiculously cool of a drive it is along Interstate 84 it can be? Have you heard about the wind, and the windsurfing opportunities? Yes it’s all totally true.
Leaving Pendleton on the final day of my drive, I had two objectives, to enjoy the gorge, and to avoid going through Portland during rush hour. Those two things proved to be somewhat incongruous., as hurrying to get to, and through, Portland made me unable to really stop and enjoy the views as much as they were demanding I do.
Still, I managed to find a few places right off the freeway to stop, such as this park where someone hauling a horse in a trailer decided to stop as well, and let the horse wander around for a bit.
I even managed to head off the freeway for a bit, taking the alternate route, US30, aka the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Byway. That took me away from driving right along the river, but offered some pretty cool views itself!
Ultimately though, maybe the best views of the river and the gorge came from the scenic byway though, as it wound it’s way up to a place called Vista House.
I can see where they got the name, can’t you?
For all of the photos from the trip in one place, check the RoadTrip2014 Flickr album! Thanks for following along on this adventure! Next up I’ll be sharing some photos of the area where we now live!
Before I made my way to my final night in a hotel, on this trip, I stopped to grab a few shots of the golden fields as I cam down out of the mountains into Pendleton, Oregon
Then it was time to take those corners and head down the road that you can see in that final photo!
All that was left now was to drive through the Columbia River Gorge to Portland, and then on down to Corvallis. Obviously, I made a few stops in the gorge, but those are for a future post!
So after a shorter driving day, by design, I was able to spend some of the late afternoon in Salt Lake City. The center of Salt Lake is pretty much dominated by Temple Square. Regardless of how you view the Mormon church, the square is a lovely place to hang around, watch people, enjoy the sunshine, and take some photos.
After spending the night in Green River, I had a short drive on tap for Tuesday. Frankly, whether it was a planned shorter drive or not, it was going to end up a shorter drive. I had hit a bit of a wall when it came to spending time in the car! Rather than start out for Salt Lake City first thing though, I took a little detour into the Flaming Gorge Recreational Area, which is the area around the Flaming Gorge reservoir.
While the entirely of this area is far, far more than I could hope to see in one brief stop, I had read a bout a specific place the night before that had my photographer’s interest piqued. It’s called Firehole Canyon.
As I found the parking and boat launch area, which was empty this time of day in September, I was greeted by a little guy who probably wasn’t expecting company.
I was also greeted by bugs. Very, very large bugs. Interestingly, they didn’t really seem to be biting me, so I soldiered on. More on them later…
The scenery was fantastic though!
A lovely little town, Green River. While the river that bears it’s name is a very large, long, river, the town itself isn’t very big. But, it has a hotel right off the freeway, which was really the only prerequisite for this trip! I actually arrived in Green River late in the afternoon, and despite the hotel being right off the freeway, promptly missed the turn to it and wound up in the center of town. This, turned out to be fortuitous as it allowed me to quickly find the river and an area to park and enjoy the walking paths along the river.
Of course, this being Wyoming, there were also some lovely buttes in the area overlooking the river valley, and I did get some shots of those as well before heading off to find my hotel and some dinner!