River deep, mountain high
First, some sustenance. The Original Pancake House had been marked on our google map by Mary ever since we first decided to visit Portland. She had been there many times previously and knew what lay in store.
I ordered the speciality of the house, Apple Cinnamon pancake. H.U.G.E. (but delicious)
Mary herself ordered a Dutch Baby – a kind of Yorkshire Pudding with lemon and sugar. Delicious too.
The Corned Beef Hash fan ordered Corned Beef Hash. I know…
Over the bridge then, negotiating a busy freeway junction a hundred feet or so up above the Willamette River. Hmmm.
We were heading for the Historic Route 30, the first scenic route to be built in America, The Columbia River Highway.
We were blessed with great weather, not too much traffic and discovered breathtaking views from high above the water level.
After our first stop high above the river gorge, we continued to the viewpoint there on the wooded ridge.
The ladies in the visitors centre there were chatty and very helpful. They worried about us because the coach with 40 English people had just left and they were concerned that we’d been left behind. We reassured them that we were independent spirits!
Next stop was a waterfall, accessed by a trail through the woods. Lovely.
Several waterfalls later, we were beginning to gather a bit of knowledge about these things and at least one of us was talking about the “bridal veil effect” in authorative tones.
Just as we were beginning to be waterfalled out, we came to the end of the gorge and look what we spotted on the horizon: Mount St Helens. (I think it's actually Mount Adams?)
We were now turning right and joining another scenic byway – the circuit around Mount Hood
which was looking spectacular in the afternoon sunshine. Those clouds were drifting in and out, but whilst we stopped to absorb the view and take photos at the National Forest Ranger Station, the clouds parted and the mountain was looking super.
Visiting the office to see what information was available gave us a small insight into the working conditions of a forest ranger, too.
We continued back towards Portland, joining the road which takes the same route as the old Oregon Trail.
Yes, there is a town named Boring.