Saturday, March 10, 2012

Vista House Visit

I've been out and about in the Columbia River Gorge for the last two days!  On Thursday I drove along the I-84, you see below Vista House, on my way to Multnomah Falls for a day of volunteering.  My sister, Denise, and I met early for lunch in the Lodge and were joined for a visit with Rick Buck, President of the Multnomah Falls Lodge Co.  We've been friends for a long time so it was fun to chat with him.  It was a beautiful day and so we had lots of visitors in the info center.  
This is a shot of the gorge on my way home.. it's SO nice that the days are longer now and we're not going home in the dark!  It was a wonderful sunny day.  See Rooster Rock on the peninsula on the right?  And Vista House sits high on the bluff, 723 feet above the Columbia River.
Then yesterday I hurriedly made more of my pine cone jewelry, ran off an inventory sheet and drove east on the Historic Columbia River Highway to deliver them to the gallery at Vista House.  It opens for the season on the 16th so they are setting up the gallery for the season.  It closes for the winter.  The building was dedicated in 1918 and was built as an observatory and visitor's center.  It has the most wonderful view of the Columbia River Gorge!  I was the Executor Director of the Friends of Vista House for 15 years after helping to get the organization started.  I am very fond of this historic building!
The building was made of stone and recently went through a comprehensive restoration costing over 4 million dollars. The stained glass inside was matched and re-installed and the tile roof had been covered over with copper sheets and the copper was removed and new glazed tile to match the original was re-installed.  Doesn't it look nice?
The beautiful limestone interior had been painted over and during the restoration some of the panels were removed, cleaned and re-installed in a safer manner.  All the stone was re-finished and all paint removed.  The floors are made of Alaskan Tokeen marble.
The ceiling is painted with a copper color with green beams.  See the copper Indian heads at the bottom of the beams?  Their are 4 different faces and they stare across at a copy of themselves to total 8 of them... and no one knows who the Indian faces are.  It's a mystery.  I wish we knew.
Also, in between each beam there is a carved panel of limestone and each one of the 8 has a different pioneer family name and also the carvings depict things that the family was famous for, such as farm tools and they each have different carved leaves of trees.   
The light shining through the stained glass with the stairway going to the upper observation deck. 
See the marble clock?  One of the first things I did as Executive Director was to have it restored as it wasn't working and one of the numerals was missing.  I love that clock.  Interesting story.. when the interior was restored, the clock was taken down.. when the restoration was complete, the clock was not there.  It took some strong efforts, but the clock was returned and hung in it's place and all was well.
 This is the view east from the building.  You can see Beacon Rock and Bonneville Dam.
On my way back from Vista House I drove down in to Portland Women's Forum State Viewpoint and got this shot of the gorge.. then I headed directly to LA Fitness and swam for an hour!  Then I came home and got "Grandpa" and we went to meet our son Shawn and his family for Chinese dinner.  We kept the boys overnight while our son and his wife went out.  Now after a breakfast of pancakes we're watching "Hugo" the movie.  It is very interesting!  
And I am going to work on Gabriel's "mint green" Teddy Bear! :-)  Don't forget to leave a comment on the post below to be able to join in the drawing for my "Give-Away" for a free pair of earrings!  ((hugs)), Teresa :-)  


  1. I never get tired of a day spent with you my dear friend Teresa. Jealous of the views maybe, but not tired. Stunning. You have quite the special life to be able to volunteer daily in "God's Country". Hey, we just watched Hugo too. I actually thought it was kind of bizarre and not what I thought it would be. Good, but not great. So, I think I need to swift up the last few of my home dyed yarns for Florida. I'm feeling a few bears would be just the thing to work on down there. Back to packing and fixing dinner...break is over. It's unbelievably nice outside here this weekend.

  2. Hello Teresa another lovely post from you accompanied by the usual stunning photographs. I am feeling a little bttered and bruised at the moment and your post and photos have helped to soothe me a little. I live in hope that one day I might get to see some part of your beautiful part of the world for real. Take care. Anne x

  3. Those are beautiful pictures! I wish where I lived was just so naturally beautiful.

  4. Hi Teresa .. You live in a most beautiful part of your country and those photos are amazing. Vista House is magnificent - thanks for the very interesting 'visit'. I always enjoy your posts and am in awe of your photographic skills. xoxox

  5. Wow--I had forgotten just how spectacular the interior of the Vista House is! Your photos of it are incredible! TY so much for posting them:)

  6. I love every picture of the Vista House and the views are breathtaking!! I hope you liked Hugo, I really loved the use of colours in that movie :-) Can't wait to see Gabriel's mint green Teddy! xxxx

  7. I remember a grade school field trip to the Vista house when I was a child growing up in Gresham - before it got so big. I haven't been back in many years and your photos have me planning a trip there soon. Thanks!

  8. What a stunning building Teresa and I am so glad that it has been restored and can be enjoyed by future generations. Thanks for the virtual tour!
    Jane x

  9. Thank you for the pictures and explanations.
    I did a fabulous journey with you and all.
    Read you

  10. The pictures are beautiful (as always) I love looking at your pictures! Your jewelry is awesome! I'd sign up to win, but I don't wear ear rings, but they are there nothing you can't do? You are such an artist! :)

  11. Such gorgeous views! And that building! Incredibly beautiful!

  12. What beautiful photos Teresa!! You have been very busy! I love the lessons in history you give to your readers! You have been making a bunch of Teddy Bears!!!!

  13. Oh my what a beautiful spot! I love..that view is breathtaking.
    Happy week to you. Love your jewellery by the way.

  14. What a beautiful place and view!! Wonderful.

  15. I loved seeing your pictures of the beautiful building and stunning scenery, Teresa....what a wonderful place! Have a happy week.
    Helen x


I absolutely love comments and thank you so much for taking time to leave me a note. :-)