Saturday, June 26, 2021

Pacific Northwest Vacation - Day 10: Columbia River Gorge

This morning we drove east out of Portland and set out to explore the Columbia River Gorge. We stopped at Vista House to take in the great view.
There are many waterfalls along the gorge and we made a quick stop to see Latourell Falls.
But the falls we really wanted to see was Multnomah Falls. It is considered a 'must see' when visiting Portland.

We arrived at the falls to find that the small parking lot was full. Traffic coming from our side was not allowed to wait for cars to leave the lot. Instead we were told to try a supplemental lot, and if that lot was also full, then to take a shuttle from a farther lot. To get to the supplemental lot, we had to get back on the interstate several miles down the road. But traffic coming from our side was not allowed to enter the supplemental lot either. We headed on to the area to catch the shuttle but we had to go an extra exit down and circle back. By the time we got on the shuttle and got to the falls, an hour had passed since we first arrived at the falls.

There were a lot of people at the falls. And the sun was right behind the falls making it impossible to get a good photo.
We walked up to the famed Benson Bridge, the footbridge that traverses Multnomah Creek between the two cascades of Multnomah Falls. From there I had planned to take the hike up to the top of the falls. Kai said he had enough and didn't want to walk further. My wife and I told him that we would go up ourselves and that he could wait for us there at the bridge.

That was a big mistake.

The walk up to the top of the falls was very steep and arduous. We had to stop a few times to catch our breath and rest. It took us about 45 minutes to get to the top. If Kai had walked with us, he would have given up before we even got halfway.

At the top, we got to see the stream that fed the waterfall.
We refilled our water bottles with the cold water from the creek.
The following is a photo of the top of the falls looking down.
It was around this time that I saw that Kai had tried calling me. I tried to call him back but the cellular service was bad and the call would not go through. I texted Kai to let him know that we had just made it to the top and it would be a half hour before we got back down. We later found out that he did not receive the text.

We tried to walk quickly down and made it down in about 15 minutes. But we did not see Kai at the bridge. We walked further down and came across him coming back up the path.

He was furious.

And scared.

It was a huge mistake to leave him for that long.

We got him to go to lunch. A little calamari and a burger helped to calm him. He talked about how scared he was and that he realized that he is not ready to be alone. He said that after we get home, he would need to rest for two weeks.

After we left Multnomah, we drove further down the gorge. It wasn't as impressive as I had hoped and we drove back to our new hotel late in the afternoon.

It was nice to have a room with air conditioning!

This hotel also has a swimming pool so Kai got to go in the water which always helps calm him.

We had a late dinner at an Italian restaurant.
We let Kai have an Italian soda and have a canoli for dessert.
Our vacation is down to its last full day. While we enjoyed most of it, I think all of us are looking forward to having it come to an end.


  1. Scary day for Kai. But, great looking burger. :) I am glad everything went well afterwards...especially with the air-conditioning. That would have been my big issue. Last full day of the vacation...yes, I do know what you mean...the vacation feels good, but so does going back home.

    1. We shouldn't have left Kai alone but we also didn't remind him how long of a hike it would be to get to the top and how long we would be gone.

      It will be a scorcher here today... you would not like it at all. :)


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