Sunday, June 17, 2012


Friday, June 15 – Before we tell you about our day, we want to send our love and prayers out to our dear friends, Donna and Russ. Donna just lost her sister. She did a wonderful tribute to her sister in her blog. Please keep Donna and the family in your prayers.

We met up with good friends Jeri and Terry Williams today. They are fellow full-timers that lived previously in this area and now spend the spring and summer here. They have family in this area and love to spend time with them. What great tour guides. THANKS Jeri and Terry for taking time out of your busy lives to share the Portland area with us!

Jeri and Terry

We headed down the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area to see all the waterfalls. It's amazing! They come one after another and just keep getting better and better.

We first stopped at Vista House at Crown Point. This overlook gives a beautiful vista of the Columbia River Gorge.The Vista House was built in 1917 as a place for travelers to rest and refresh themselves as they made their way down the magnificent Columbia River Gorge.

Vista House

The magnificent view.
view from Vista House

Our first stop was Shepperds Dell. This Falls has two tiers. The height of the upper falls is  35-50 feet; lower falls 40-60 feet. WOW!

Shepperds Dell

On to Bridal Veil Falls. It is reached by a short 2/3 mile hike. Bridal Veil Falls drops twice. The height: upper falls 60-100 feet; lower falls 40-60 feet. Gorgeous!

Bridal Veil Falls

Enjoying the view.
us and Bridal Veil Falls

The next falls is Wah-kee-na Falls. "Wahkeena" means "most beautiful". The height: 242 feet. This Falls winds through the trees. Beautiful!

Wah-kee-na Falls

The “Granddaddy” of the Falls is Multnomah Falls. Plunging 620' in two sheer sections, it is an awesome beauty and is the most visited attraction in Oregon. Multnomah Falls is the second highest year-round waterfalls in the United States. Spectacular!

Multnomah Falls

We concluded our visit with Horsetail Falls. The height: 176 feet. Impressive!

Horsetail Falls

DO NOT miss this beautiful drive. There are several more falls, but we had so much to do today that we had to moved on.

We then stopped at the Bonneville Fish Hatchery. The Hatchery raises 8 million Fall Chinook, 1.2 million Coho, 200 thousand Summer Steelhead, and 60 thousand Winter Steelhead. We have read so much about Hatcheries on Donna and Russ's blog, that we could not pass this one up.

 Hatchery layout

They breed millions of fish here that will be released in area rivers. The incubators are used to raise eggs from the "eyed stage" to the "fry stage." There are 6500 eggs/tray x 2240 trays = almost 15 million fish.


Chinook Salmon

There are so many it looks like a pool of mud.Chinook Salmon 2

Not to be missed is Herman. A HUGE Sturgeon, ten feet long, weighing over 450 pounds and over 70 years old. It is so big that we could only get parts of it at a time.


There is so much to see at Bonneville Hatchery. It has a park setting with many trails through the Hatchery to ponds, statues and displays. Put it on your list of things to see when in the Portland area.

We then ventured over to the Bonneville Lock, Dam and Fish Ladder. We really enjoyed the fish viewing windows watching the spawning fish travel up the Fish Ladder to get over the Dam.

One of the many viewing windows. viewing window

Where's the fish ladder? Salmon find their way upstream by swimming against the current. Fish follow this strong current to the face of the dam. There, slots allow them to swim into a fish collection channel, where currents guide them to the ladder entrance.

Fish ladder.
fish ladder

A maze that serves to control water flow in the ladder. It provides passage for migrating fish.maze

The Dam produces over a million kilowatts of electricity per year, enough to supply the power needs of nearly 500,000 homes.

Bonneville Dam

After a brief stop for lunch at the famous Bridge of the Gods, we headed back toward Portland sneaking the occasional glimpse of Mount Hood.

Bridge of the Gods

Mt Hood

Our final stop was a drive by of the Officer's Quarters at Fort Vancouver. We need a day just to visit this Fort and all the surrounding buildings.

Grant's house.
Grant's house

After a very long day, we returned to our motorhome parked at the Elks Lodge. Tomorrow we head back out with Jeri and Terry, so stop back as we continue our adventure.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!


  1. Thanks for an absolutely awesome tour. Your photos of the waterfalls are beautiful - it looks like we missed a few of them when we visited because we had a rainy day back in March.

    Multnomah Falls is pretty spectacular and next time we visit I'd like to hike the trail up to the top.

    Have another great day touring.

  2. quite the day you all had..from all the waterfalls and the fish hatchery!..can you imagine catching a 450 pound sturgeon? is quite something!..have a great day..hope the sun shines for you today!!

  3. A beautiful day in a beautiful gorge. We have driven that route so many times over the years. When I was a child, that scenic highway was the only way to get from Portland, where we lived, to Pendleton where my Aunt and Uncle lived. It was an exhausting all-day trip then. Now, of course, one just zips along the Interstate, not seeing any of the beauty.

  4. We did the same journey last year, checking out all the waterfalls and the fish hatchery but never saw the big sturgeon. Loved seeing it again thru your eyes. thank you! Makes me really miss the west coast!

  5. Hello, friends! Lucky you - you're in one of my favorite parts of the country. Our only volunteer job was as bike trail hosts along a part of the original (scenic) highway that is now open only to bikers, walkers, and other self-propelled visitors - the Mosier Twin Tunnels at Hood River. We had the time to visit and many of the less accessible falls along the Gorge. It was a GREAT place to spend two months. Thanks for sharing the memories with us.

  6. That was a great tour. Lots and lots of water..

  7. I love the's so alive. Your pictures bring back many memories. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to your next post.

  8. We volunteered for 3 months at Bonneville Dam. After they locked the gates at 5 we had the whole place to to ourselves. Used to walk or ride bikes down to the fish hatchery and visit Herman almost every evening. Glad to see he is still alive and well! That is such a great area.

  9. We've driven the Gorge twice. The first time was in early spring of 1983; we were on our way from Washington State to Utah for Mui's first USAF assignment at Hill AFB. We didn't make many stops along the way, but did stop to enjoy Multnomah Falls, which remains as one of my favorites. The second trip was in July 2010 when we went to Portland to pick up our Phaeton and drive it home to the East Coast. We made no stops along the way as we had 7 days to make it back to Virginia. A marathon to be sure, but the Gorge provided great views to start off our long day of driving. Next time, we'll be there to explore the area.

  10. Don't u just love the Columbia Gorge?? Mtns & water...

  11. The Columbia River gorge has got to be one of the most awe inspiring drives in the whole country. The variety from left to right just takes your breath away. Thanks for the tour.

  12. It's really hard to wrap your mind around 15 million salmon! Makes me want to repeat our Asian Salmon with Parsley Pesto I made for dinner recently.

    The Columbia River gorge is such a beautiful drive. I think of it often since I purchase my small purse at the Vista House.

    So glad you had sun and blue skies though I noticed you're still wearing a jacket, Marsha! :-)

  13. Nice to see some blue sky in these photos, and no rain gear! What a fish story...good that you took photos!! Happy that you saw the waterfalls with so much water this year...great time to be there.

  14. awesome tour thanks for sharing...looks like you had an awesome day too!!

  15. Hey, I have some of those same pictures! Amazing isn't it ... except you just happen to be in mine.

  16. Great tour, you do more in a day than we do in a couple of days.

  17. Oh, how fun. That's the tour that Jeri and Terry took us on and it was so fun to see your pictures and remember our trip through there. Thanks so much.

  18. Thank you for thinking of us.

    I sure enjoyed your photos today. We have been to all those places except Fort Vancouver. I just love the Gorge and all the beauty that is there. Glad we are finally getting some nice weather for you to enjoy.

  19. Wow! The waterfalls look amazing. I've only ever seen small ones. I'll have to get my hubby and in-laws to vacation there! Thanks for sharing. And my little guys would love the fish hatchery.

    Saying a prayer for your friend this morning. I'm sorry to hear about her sister.

    Looking forward to your next post....


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