We left home Saturday, August 13, 2016, and flew to Portland. We spent the first night at the Country Inn and Suites near the airport. Nothing memorable happened—no riots, at least not near the hotel. The next day we headed east for sightseeing and some easy hikes in the Columbia River Gorge.
Columbia River Gorge
Sunday, August 14
Sunday was a day of waterfalls. We started with Latourell Falls, on a 2.4-mile loop trail.
We had Sunday brunch at Multnomah Falls Lodge. We had already hiked a few miles that day, and we walked up with packs, hats, hiking poles, and boots, but they told us to come in and then treated us as well as their more civilized guests.
We spent the next night at the Brookside Bed & Breakfast in Hood River, where we had a big room and a friendly host. We bought Keith’s new favorite beer glass after dinner at the Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom.
Eagle Creek Trail to Tunnel Falls
Monday, August 15
On Monday we retraced our steps a little to take a longer hike on the Eagle Creek Trail. It’s an interesting trail that leads to a rather magnificent waterfall. The trail passes through a rock tunnel behind the waterfall and then along the almost vertical rock face beyond it. The part just beyond the falls isn’t for anyone with a fear of heights, although a cable attached to the rock provides some extra security (except when people are passing each other). The waterfall was our destination. We went far enough to get the best camera angles and then turned back.
After the hike, we drove toward Mount Hood and spent the night at the Best Western Mt. Hood Inn.
Tuesday, August 16
On Tuesday we drove to the Timberline Lodge and went in for a look. The Best Western had been fine, but the lodge would have been a step up.
After seeing the lodge, we hiked to Paradise Park. The scenery varied a lot; so, there are a lot of pictures.
After the hike, we drove to Bend and checked into the Holiday Inn Express. We had dinner at the Deschutes Brewery Public House.
Wednesday, August 17
On Wednesday, we drove to Crater Lake National Park and started a counterclockwise loop around the lake with many stops for pictures and one hike. The color of the lake was remarkable—none of the pictures below has been adjusted, even to correct a bad exposure.
After a day at Crater Lake, we spent the night at the Holiday Inn Express on the river in Roseburg.
Thursday, August 18
On Thursday we drove to Coos Bay on the Pacific coast and turned north. We made several stops for photos, including the Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint and the Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint, our last stop of the day.
We spent the night at the Ashley Inn in Tillamook.
Friday, August 19
On Friday we returned to Cape Meares to get some photos in the morning light. The light wasn’t great for photos, but we had the place to ourselves, which was nice. Afterward, we continued our drive up the coast, with a stop at Ecola State Park, where we hiked the Clatsop Loop Trail and the Tillamook Lighthouse Trail.
We spent the last night at a bed-and-breakfast in Arch Cape. It had a great location right on the beach and just a short walk from the tip of the cape. Our hosts were civil to us but nothing like our previous bed-and-breakfast stays (e.g., Hiker Hostel, Duck Roost Inn, Castlemaine Inn, Franconia Notch Guest House, Brookside B&B). In our experience, most B&B hosts treat their guests like friends or family; these guys treated us like customers. Still, everything was high-quality.
Saturday, August 20
After breakfast outside and a few more beach photos, we drove to Portland and caught our flight home.
If you’re looking for things to do on vacation, Oregon offers a variety. We could go back.
We were most impressed by Tunnel Falls, Mount Hood, and Crater Lake. As we mentioned, Tunnel Falls
isn’t for anyone with a fear of heights. We were OK with it and would do that hike again. Others
look at the pictures and say,
Crater Lake was amazing, but we were lucky to see it on a clear day. We have friends and family who saw it
when it was less impressive because of cloud cover or smoke. We might not go back there, but only because it
could never be better than it was the day we saw it.