road trip day 05: pendleton to portland

chiport13columbia

Early morning set off, breakfast on the way. The landscape started as dry and rolling hills but once we hit the columbia river gorge it turned totally gorgeous. Stopped at the first viewpoint next to the highway to take pictures. It was hot and sunny but with a nice breeze.

Made a stop at the columbia river gorge discovery center to get information about where to go in the local area. The girls there suggested that we took a drive along the fruit loop, a 35-mile circuit that takes in farms, pyo fruit farms and wineries. An awesome experience, if I were with mm, we would have spent the entire day there wine tasting and going to pyo farms. It’s cherry season and the cherry trees were bursting with fruit, both the regular dark kind and the delicious rainier cherries. I bought a bag, I couldn’t resist.

chiport14winery

I was able to go to one winery, the aptly named mt hood winery which was indeed at the foot of mt hood. Tried 5 wines for $5, ranging from a sharp pinot noir, an even more sharp zinfindel, a nice blend, a granache and a pretty decent syrah.

Next stop was the waterfalls area, one of the biggest attractions of the gorge. Unfortunately we only saw one waterfall, the horsetail falls. Too much traffic in narrow roads prevented further exploration. A bit disappointing.

chiport15crab

Drove onto Portland and reached the hotel just after 2pm. Rooms were ready so we unloaded. I unpacked a little, then took a break. Dinner was at joe’s crab shack. I had a mixed pot of snow, queen and king crabs. Plus a beer.

The end of the first part of our road trip. Something like 2,500 miles.