Thursday, September 27, 2007

9/25 - 9/27/07 Columbia River Gorge & Waterfalls

Following Sarah’s seven day itinerary made using the Reader’s Digest “Travel Guide USA,” we traveled to Cascade Locks and stayed at a KOA campground. At first, we were all very excited since the place was filled with beautiful trees whose leaves were starting to change to fall colors. Except… we had no Direct TV reception (so no taped Mythbusters for Mel and Dave on the TIVO) and it was right next to a train crossing used by giant long (100 cars plus) trains with the trains whistles blowing night and day.

So while it was beautiful, it was certainly not restful. The first afternoon there Mel and Dave went outside to try to get Mythbusters on cable. Dave used the internet to show Mel other things on the Mythbuster website and talked to Mel for two hours. From inside, overhearing bits of their conversation, it was charming!

Sarah continued to insist on nightly Sequence games with Mel. We can’t be sure if she would have been so committed to the game is she wasn’t on her winning streak.

Per Sarah's itinerary the next day, we saw the Columbia River Gorge, the Wahkeena and Mutnomah (620’ feet) Waterfalls and the local Fishery with an active fish ladder for Chinook salmon and home of Herman the Sturgeon and his friends, the trout. The video of how fish are farmed, their spawning cycle (including their deaths upon return to the fishery after 4-5 years) and the beautiful Chinook salmon hurling themselves at the fish ladder entrance was too much for Sarah. She couldn’t eat tuna sandwiches that night and the next morning woke up as a full-fledged vegetarian.

At the end of that day we went to the Lookout Point called Vista House and marveled at its beautifully-done renovation and drank Italian ices. After a lovely nap back at the RV, Mel took me for a romantic dinner at the rustic restaurant at Multnomah Falls with a view of the falls at sunset from our table. Our waitress was a great resource for recommendations, so our meal was spectacular. It was special to be together without the kids.

The next day we took a paddlewheel riverboat on the Columbia River. The weather was perfect. The boat was authentic and it was easy to imagine life in earlier times from the pictures on the wall and at the steamboat museum at the dock. After lunch we closed up the RV and moved on to our next stop.

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