Sunday, August 26, 2012

Oregon waterfalls

For my travel blog I thought I would show all the waterfalls we saw while vacationing in Oregon.

These waterfalls were all located at the Columbia River Gorge scenic highway. The gorge area is famous for its waterfalls 77 of them on the Oregon side of the river.  A few of the waterfalls could be seen right from the road.The waterfalls are all located within 15 miles of each other.

Multnomah Falls is 620 feet for both the upper and lower falls. The footbridge allows visitors to cross 105 ft above the lower falls. You can actually see a lot of this waterfall from the scenic road. Multnomah is known as Oregon's prime waterfall attraction and is the most famous.

Oneonta Falls, Oneonta Gorge. This Lower Oneonta Falls can only be seen by walking upstream from the Columbia River scenic hwy.

Bridal Veil Falls is a 2.2 mile roundtrip hike from the trailhead on the Columbia Gorge scenic hwy. The trail climbs to a wooden lookout with a view of the falls.

Horsetail Falls is 192 ft and is located right next to the Columbia Gorge scenic highway.

 Wahkeena Fallsis a 1.1 mile roundtrip hike from the scenic hwy. It is 242 ft and is a tiered falls. Some of this waterfall can be seen from the road but for the best view you take the walk. The name Wahkeena comes from the Yakama tribe and means "most beautiful".

If you are ever in the Columbia River Gorge area you should definitely visit some of these beautiful waterfalls.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Oregon Trip Report July 2012

This is my Trip Advisor report on Oregon...long read

July 20 thru July 30

My photos are here:

My bird blog:

Day 1: We arrived at Sea-Tac around 12pm. Easy transfer to the Advantage Car Rental. We were happy with the Advantage Versa 4dr sedan. On the 1-5 toward Portland before 1pm.
I-5 was backed up off and on the whole drive. I missed the exit for the Tippy’s that was recommended for dinner, so we stopped at a quickie place called Burgerville. They had great Chocolate shakes and burgers.

Checked into the Troutdale Best Western. I like the Best Westerns, they are reasonably priced, clean and have a great breakfast. We were happy with the location for our visit to the Columbia Gorge.

After checking in and freshening up, we headed out for a quick visit to Multnomah Falls, Vista House and beautiful sunset views on the Columbia River.

Day 2: We were up early for our Best Western breakfast and out the door. First we stopped at the waterfalls along scenic 84. We saw Bridal Veil, Horsetail and Wahkeena Falls. And hubby checked out the trail for the Oneonta Falls trail. Then we were back on the road to see Mt Hood. We made a quick stop at the Mt Hood Lavender Farm, at the time they were having their Lavender Festival. So we had a bite to eat and bought some lavender items and were back on the road to Mt Hood.

We ate a late lunch or an early dinner at the Cascade Dinning room at the Timberline Lodge. We were very happy with our choice of the buffet and a nice table near the window, great views.
After lunch we did the hike to Mirror Lake, a very pretty lake and reflection of Mt Hood.
On the way back we continued on to the Larch Mountain overlook. We had clear skies we great views of all five mountains and a pretty sunset.  Then it was back to our room for the night.

Day 3: Another great breakfast at the Troutdale Best Western. We were headed back for an early look at Multnomah Falls, early in the morning there were not as many people around the falls and on the bridge. Perfect timing for some photos of the falls. Left there and took hubby to the Oneonta Falls for his hike. I hung around the parking lot looking for birds till he got back. Luckily he took a change of clothes, it is a wet trail upstream to the falls.

From Oneonta we headed back along the river, stopping at the Fish hatchery, the Cascade Locks and continued around the loop for our main destination of the day which was Timothy Lake to look for birds and we stopped at Little Crater Lake. What a lovely place. After a nice day of hiking and birding we heading back towards our hotel stopping at Tippy’s Canoe for dinner. Very good food at Tippy’s we were happy with our choice for dinner.

Day 4: We left Troutdale and headed to the coast. I booked two nights at the Fireside Hotel in Yachats. We were very happy with the Fireside and Room # 18. We had the best view of the ocean and watched a Gray Whale feeding for hours right from our room. It was AWESOME.

We arrived a little early so we let the Fireside know we were there and headed down the coast. We stopped at Strawberry Hill my favorite beach for the Tidal pools. We saw lots of Sea Stars and colorful anemones and sea lions. We drove to the Heceta Head beach and Lighthouse. Very pretty beach, just a shame the lighthouse was being renovated. We also stopped at the Sea Lion Caves, their elevator was broke( they offered a discounted price)  and we could only see the sea lions from the top viewing area. They said we could come back the next day or two to see if their elevator was fixed they would let us in with our ticket from the first visit. We headed back to the Fireside for our key to our fantastic Rm 18 and then went out to dinner at the Driftwood Inn. Again we were pleased with our dinner choice at the Driftwood.  It was nice later to watch the sunset over the ocean from our room.

Day 5: Breakfast was at the Blue Whale in Yachats. Very good food and reasonably priced. After breakfast we headed to the Cape Perpetua lookout, the visitor center and hike to the 500 yr old Spruce tree? From there we headed north stopping at various overlooks like, Seal Rock, Devils Punchbowl and  Boiler Bay ( more whales seen there) and then to the Three Capes Drive, stopping at the Yaquina Lighthouse. Cape Meares was great if you are into birds like I am. The Common Murres on the rock were just amazing. A long day we headed south again stopping in Lincoln City for dinner at Pier 101. Again we were both happy with the food and our choice. After dinner we drove back to Yachats and our room at the Fireside.

Day 6: Breakfast was at the Blue Whale again, it was good and worth going back the second morning. After breakfast we called the Sea Lion caves and they said the elevator was working so we went back to see the cave and the sea lions and for me it was cool to see my first Rhinoceros Auklet. A birder would really appreciate this sighting, there were two chicks being fed by an adult right next to the lookout in the cave. On this day we had to leave our wonderful Ocean front room for our next stay at Cannon Beach. On the way to Cannon Beach we stopped again at the Devils Punchbowl and saw more whales, we stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory and had a delicious ice cream, our lunch. We finally arrived in our last hotel in Oregon the Wayside Inn. It was a nice room but I was a little disappointed I did not choose an oceanfront hotel. We had the street and a parking lot for our view. After watching whales from our Fireside room 18 we were a little let down. I chose Wayside because I wanted to be close to the Haystack Rock , hoping I would see some Puffins on the rock. Dinner was at Mo’s near the hotel. I enjoyed their clam chowder and fish tacos. After dinner we drove to Ecola State Park, saw a herd of elk there an eagle, lots of pelicans on the rocks, Cormorants and Guillemots.

Day 7: Foggy morning and we had breakfast at the PignPancake in Cannon beach. Great breakfast and reasonable priced. After breakfast we hiked at the Oswald State Park to the beach. Found a pretty waterfall at the right end of the beach and another great tidal pool. Mid day we headed back to the Haystack rock for the low tide and I was hoping to see a Puffin. My only view of the puffins was a few flying in and out the backside of the Haystack rock. I actually like the tidal pools better at Strawberry Hill and Oswald then the crowded one at Haystack. Once again we headed back to Ecola State Park, hoping to see the elk again. No luck, maybe we were there too early. Headed back into town and had dinner at the Wayfarer, Cannon Beach. Again the clam chowder was great and I had a burger and hubby had a crab sandwich. It was too cloudy for a sunset. Headed back to the Wayside Inn for our last night.

Day 8: We took a long scenic route back to hubby sister’s place in Bainbridge Island. SIL wedding was on Saturday in Bainbridge Island, WA.

Day 9: We took a nice hike in the Grand Forest near SIL house before heading to the ferry and Seattle.It was Sunday we had to head home to Maryland. It was a great vacation and Oregon is a beautiful state. I believe we put close to 1500 miles on the rental car, which was very easy to return to the Sea-tac car rental.