Friday, August 10, 2007

Traveling with friends 2007 - Day 4

June 28, 2007 - The last day between the Utah Woodturning Symposium in Provo and the AAW Symposium in Portland, Oregon. We spent our last night on the road in The Dalles, and we had the pleasure of meeting up with Martin Pigeon and his lovely wife.

We got a pretty early start to Portland because I wanted to show everyone the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, and we had to get to the airport to fetch Steve and Meghan who were flying in from Columbus to join us for the rest of the trip. Their flight was delayed by a couple of hours, so we had some extra time for sightseeing.

The first order of business was to fill up the van with fuel. Everyone jumped out to help spruce up the car a bit.

I sat in the car and took pictures - how good is that?

Everyone seemed to be having a good time washing windows. That's good, eh?

I didn't have R10 to give as a tip, though. Shame!

First sightseeing stop of the day was at Bonneville Dam. It's a huge hydroelectric dam on the Columbia River.

Here's one of the old turbines that used to be a workhorse for the power generation part of the operation.

You can read about it here. . .

and here.

There are some nice flower beds around the tourist areas of the site. Shasta daisies are one of my favorite flowers - brings back a lot of memories of growing up in Oregon.

This red flowering plant is a native from South Africa - something in the Iridaceae, but I forgot to get the name of it. It sure was a draw for the hummingbirds. There were two rufous hummingbirds working this patch of garden.

At the bottom of the visitor center levels you can watch the fish swim by as they're working their way up and over the fish ladder. There's a running total kept of how many of the different species of fish are counted.

You can read all about the fish ladder here.

Here's part of it.

An explanation of how the counting is done.

The upper section of the ladder.

After visiting Bonneville Dam, we drove west and caught the old highway going through the Columbia River Gorge. At our first stop (Horsetail Falls), the Union Pacific train came through on the tracks next to the parking lot.

A nice view of Horsetail Fall. The waterfalls along the gorge are reminders of how the Cascade Mountains were named - many, many beautiful waterfalls.

Dennis and Gigi posing in front of the falls while John is trying to get the best angle for a photo.

My turn to snap a photo (I didn't lay down on the ground to get it, though).

Here's the most famous waterfall in the Pacific Northwest - Multnomah Falls. It's also the tallest fall in North America, and it's beautiful, too. Click on this image to see the full effect. I did a panorama to capture the entire length.

I wish we had had the time to walk the trail to the top. Steve and I and the kids did that last year and it was a nice view from the top.

This is another panorama of the upper section of the falls. You'll have to click on it to get the full effect.

Dennis, Gigi, and John.

My turn.

I got a kick out of John - he was being the director in helping this family get a portrait in front of the falls.

We walked up to the bridge to see the view from there. Here's a picture of the lower falls from the bridge.

We got there early enough that it wasn't yet too crowded with tourists.

I hurried back down to the photo spot so I could take Dennis, Gigi and John's pic on the bridge.

They almost had the bridge to themselves here.

It's always time for coffee - yay!

We sat down in the picnic area and were promptly under surveillance by the local residents.

"They're going to drop something soon, I'm sure of it. You go left and I'll go right. We'll meet back here in a few minutes. Got it? Go!"

Wahkeena Falls is one of my other favorites. I like sitting streamside and just listening to the sound of the water.

John's hard at work again.

Here's to friends and great fun!

The west side of the Cascades is so lush. I love the water gardens that grow around all the streams.

This is the view from Crown Point - the western entrance to the Columbia River Gorge.

It's worth going inside Vista House to see the beautiful architecture of the place.

This is the view looking to the west. Next stop of the trip is Portland.

Dennis and Gigi.

One last look at the scenic view of the Columbia River Gorge. What a great day for sight-seeing.

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