Hello my fine friends! Would you like to join me on a bus tour of the Columbia River Gorge along with 28 members of the Portland Women's Forum and a few guests? OK, climb aboard and let's get going! We're heading East on Interstate 84 and exit at Cascade Locks, Oregon and then cross over the Bridge of the Gods to Washington State - we turn left and head to Beacon Rock State Park. Which is below, which I *LOVE*!
Our first stop, though, was at this cute little stone building which was built by the CCC - the Civilian Conservation Corps under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Find out more about the CCC HERE. It has been the Parks Headquarters for 6 years now.
Several of our group visited the inside of the building.
Then we headed on a to Beacon Rock State Park - it's just beautiful there, so green and a pretty creek gurgles through to the river. Here is the group on the ramp down to the boat docks with the huge rock monolith behind us. A side note - the first time I was here we came by boat - on our sailboat, Stargazer - a cruise put together by the Columbia Gorge Yacht Club of which we were members.
Dayle took this photo for me.. isn't he sweet? He also helped all the ladies on and off the bus. A real gentleman I married. Can you find me in the photo? :-)
It was a beautiful warm and breezy day, perfect for visiting the gorge. The island off the docks there is called Pierce Island. The Oregon side is behind it. The docks are a popular place for boaters as can you imagine relaxing on your boat and having Beacon Rock as your backdrop? When we got off the bus there were FOUR Osprey aka Sea Eagles flying above us calling out peeeeep peeep!!
There is a lot of beautiful meadows and tall trees in the park.
We then headed on to the Bonneville Hot Springs Spa and Resort for lunch. We don't pass up a good opportunity for a group photo, especially with a backdrop such as this massive, rock fireplace.
The atrium dining area is awesome, with a view of their beautifully planted courtyard with hot spring mineral pool.
We were served a mixed green salad, warm sourdough baguette and a chicken fettuccine Alfredo. Everyone was happy with the meal and got to look around the resort facilities - then it was time to head off to the next stop.
I was able to snap this image of Beacon Rock from the bus as we drove by it on the Oregon side headed West.
We exited the freeway at the Ainsworth Park and Dodson Exit 35 - and passed by Horsetail Falls and I loved all the bright neon green of the sun shining through the newly opened Maple leaves.
We passed by Multnomah Falls, Wahkeena Falls, Latourell and Bridal Veil Falls and then wound our way on curving and climbing Historic Columbia River Highway to finally arrive at the magnificent Vista House at Crown Point. Several docents were awaiting us to tell us about the history of the building.
Looking East through the recently restored windows. The original windows were removed and plain clear glass filled these windows, isn't it wonderful to have the old look brought back? The new stained glass was custom made to match fragments of the old windows that were removed so long ago.
I just love the interior of this grand old octagonal building. I was one of the founders of the Friends of Vista House and then was hired as the Executive Director and served in the position from 1982 until 1997 (15 years). I then decided to leave that position and work for Talk City - an internet company. But I still have a deep and abiding connection to this wonderful building and place. I go there as often as possible - it's just 6-7 minutes from our house!
Do you see the carved panels above? Each of the eight panels represents an important Oregon pioneer family. I took a photo of one of the panels, Applegate. One of our members of PWF is Dorothy Madden, a direct descendent of the Applegate family!! She was with us on the tour.
Richard Cassidy was in period costume as a visitor in the days when VH opened. To his right is Sally King, who is the Volunteer Coordinator for the FOVH and a very good friend of mine. I hired her as Assistant Manager of the gift shop 30 years ago!
My sister Roberta asked if I wanted a photo with Richard, so this is the result. :-)
And I'm still awed by the architecture, this is the ceiling of the dome.
The floor is Alaskan Tokeen marble.. isn't it beautiful?
The light shining through the windows in front of the stairs up to the upper observation area, then down to the lower level where the gift shop and espresso cafe is located. The cafe is located in the room which was my office for 15 years.
Looking East up the gorge.. do you see Beacon Rock? This will give you perspective of what it's relationship is to Vista House.
Next stop.. Portland Women's Forum -- Dayle hopped off the bus to help the drive get turned around, and he snapped this shot for me. The stonework you see is the viewing plaza where there is a huge monument with arrows pointing to different attractions.
OK, back on the bus to head home. What a fun day we had! I hope you enjoyed going along.
Today we're resting up as tomorrow we're doing another bus tour for the Friends of Multnomah Falls - we're going up to Timberline Lodge for a tour and lunch in a private banquet hall. I can't WAIT to share that with you in a few days! I hope you don't tire of my travel posts. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)