Our good friend, Ina, has a young man named Florian visiting her from Germany for the summer. He arrived a week ago Sunday night just in time to help us close down Salt & Straw, the famous Portland ice cream shop. (I had the Goat Cheese Marionberry Habanero, described on the S&S website as “a tart goat cheese ice cream and swirled in ribbons of marionberry Jam that has been infused with habanero peppers.” It was amazing. Yum.) Last Monday, we all journeyed out the Columbia River Gorge to show Florian a bit of the local scenery. We all piled in David’s Scion, giving Florian the front-seat view. We got on the Historic Columbia River Highway outside of Corbett, and drove its windy narrowness out past Multnomah Falls. The weather was absolutely beautiful, a sunny day with a nice east wind in the Gorge – hot, but not too hot, as long as those of us in the backseat took care not to lean against one another’s sweaty arms.
Our first stop was Women’s Forum, a viewpoint that gives a lovely vista of Vista House. Quinland and David were as embarrassed by my picture-taking as ever, but luckily Tante Ina hammed it up for me a bit.
We next stopped at Vista House and went through the gallery of photos on the development of the Columbia River Highway, which was fascinating as always. I did not get to read every single photo caption, since I can’t hold back all the people all the time, but I got a good peek. Next stop: Latourell Falls. I love this waterfall, which is just a short stroll off the highway. It is so beautiful. David walked up the path that leads to the top of the falls – not all the way up, but far enough to get this lovely view.
The rest of us took the trail to the waterfall itself. Q actually waded in the water pretty close to the base, while Ina and Florian and I played it safe on the unofficial rocky path alongside the pool. I was so enamored of the sun peeking over the top of the falls.
We left a couple of fun places for Ina’s brother to take Florian later (when he was not so jet-lagged), including Bridal Veil Falls, which is always a great hike. We proceeded on (see what I did there, Lewis and Clark fans?) to Multnomah Falls, the big-ticket draw of the Columbia River Gorge.
It was beautiful as always, and far more so than the blurry photo I took. Thankfully, I turned the camera over to a complete stranger when the other four intrepid hikers came back from the bridge between the two falls. He got a fantastic photo of the five of us.
We followed up this journey with a stroll on NW 23rd and dinner at Papa Haydn. It was a lovely day, and – I think – a good introduction to Portland. Welcome, Florian!