Thursday, September 17, 2009

Land of Port: Columbia River Gorge, Part 1

Friday morning before Labor Day, Erich and I arose at the ungodly hour of 5:30am to catch our 8:00 flight out of Chicago to Portland, OR. Yes, I'm aware I will have to be up all the time during the night and early morning in just a few months. No need to remind me!

Anyway, because Erich had been up late doing homework, we didn't get a lot of sleep and I worried we wouldn't have a very good day as a result. After a four-hour flight, we landed in Portland and had our rental car by 11am. My desire for a nap soon faded as I took a look at my surroundings. The huge trees and mountainous landscape captivated me, a first-time visitor to the Pacific Northwest.

With nothing much else to do, we embarked upon a scenic drive of the Columbia River Gorge as prescribed by National Geographic Traveler. We stopped first in the town of Troutdale, just outside of Portland, where I, sadly, did not take any pictures. We had lunch at the General Store, a cute little shop with a lunch counter; we sat outside. My lunch was AMAZING! Happiness is a delicious meal eaten outdoors, and this experience definitely qualified. I had salmon chowder (fresh and delicious!) and a salad (freshest of fresh greens, juicy-sweet tomatoes and raw mushrooms; so, so good).

After lunch, it was back on the road to Crown Point, a GORGEous (get it? get it?) and crowded overlook. Crown Point features Vista House, built in 1918:

And for the real scenery:

I was really starting to think I wouldn't mind living in or near Portland. But then I was reminded of the downside to the area when I saw this car:

This guy wanted Hillary AND Obama for president. Ew.

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