Northern Oregon – Columbia River of History

Our last glimpse of the Oregon coast before turning inland

along the Columbia River

Our last day with the Toyota Tundra truck

The Toyota and Dodge side by side

Our first day with the new Dodge

Oregon is loaded with little espresso kiosks on every street


Farmhouse deep in the countryside.

Cycling along part of the old Columbia River highway that

has been transformed into a bike path.

The Columbia River's mysterious opening to the Pacific was

tracked by Lewis & Clark.

The Vista House, a monument to the pioneers built

overlooking the Columbia River Gorge in the early 1900's.

The train and highway run along both sides of the Columbia

River.  We were told there are 38 trains a day, 19 on each


The Vista House.

Columbia River Gorge

The paddle boat Columbia River cruises up and down the

river from Cascade Locks

Latourell Falls in the Colubmia River


Our lucky day.  We found a patch of

shamrocks along the side of the road.

The Columbia River seen from the historic highway that has

been revived as a wonderful paved bike path.

Full Sail Brewing in Mt. Hood, Oregon.

Mt. Hood.  The lush valley was filled with orchards of ripe fruit.

Driving towards Mt. Hood, Oregon

Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood.  It is a charming stone lodge

built with hand tools.

Inside there are many funky nooks and crannies and funny

"hobbit" doors and beautiful wrought iron.

Marionberry pie, one of the great delights of Oregon.

Northern Oregon

July 7-19, 2007 - We turned the corner on the Oregon Coast at

Astoria and said our goodbyes to the wilds of the ocean.  We

arrived in Scappoose, Oregon, a small town northwest of Portland,

and settled into the city park for a few days.  While exploring the

town of St. Helens we found a truck that we knew would pull the

buggy well, a Dodge Ram 3500 single rear wheel diesel.  We spent

some extra time in the area upgrading to the new truck.

One of the many charms of Oregon is its love affair with good

coffee.  There are little espresso huts everywhere.

It's also a very

lush area, and

we explored

some of the

back roads.

The Columbia River was the "great northwest river" that Lewis

and Clark explored in 1805, opening the west to expansion and

the arrival of the pioneers.  They traveled the river by barge,

taking the wheels off their covered wagons and placing them on

barges.  Later roads and railroads were built along the river's

edge.  Today the historic Columbia River Highway has been

rebuilt as a beautiful bike path along the river.

A paddle boat "Columbia River" out of Cascade Locks provides

river cruises.   The highway and train tracks run right alongside

the river.  While we stayed in the city park in Cascade Locks we

were constantly awakened by the trains.  They passed within 100

feet of our rig, and sometimes they would arrive in the wee hours

and sit still, trembling slightly, long waves of thunderous noise

rippling up and down their many-car length.

There are many waterfalls

along the Columbia River

Historic Highway.

The Mt. Hood Scenic Byway is a glorious drive through the lush

orchard-filled valleys around Mt. Hood.  At one corner of the

drive is the funky-trendy town of Mt. Hood, home of the Full Sail

Brewery and a windsurfing mecca.  We happened to be wearing

our Full Sail cycling jerseys that day and stopped in at the

brewery pub for a pint.

High up on the mountain we discovered the Timberline Lodge.  It

is a lovely old stone ski lodge.  When we arrived there were

crowds of young kids carrying snowboards heading up the chair

lifts for a day of summertime snowboard racing.

One of our favorite discoveries in Oregon was marionberry pie.

Marionberries are a cross between blackberries and raspberries

developed at the University of Oregon.  The pie is to die for.  The

best one we found was at a bakery in LaGrande, Oregon.

We wandered over the river into southern Washington and along

the Washington coast as well, discovering the beauty and power of

both the towering mountains and the severe coastline.