The ladies and gentlemen of the Portland Women's Forum had their annual bus tour of a location in the Columbia River Gorge yesterday. I was one of the 3 planners of the trip. We visited the historic Menucha - a wonderful lodge built on the bluffs above the Columbia. But first, we met at the Portland Women's Forum State Scenic Viewpoint for our annual group photo! This image of Vista House was actually taken by Dayle while at Menucha, but I chose it as my lead photo as it's a different vantage point that I've usually showed you.
And here we are, the gang. These are the members of the group that many years ago saved this amazing viewpoint from being privately developed and lost for public use and appreciation. Learn more at the PWF WEBSITE. If you live in the Portland metro area, we'd love to have you join us! :-)
We are in partnership with OPRD - Oregon Parks & Recreation Dept. - here are our partners - Glenn and Mark. They told us of how they have worked to clear underbrush to improve the "view shed". They were even honored for their work! Good going, guys!
Here is the historic marker that we had installed and re-dedicated 5 years ago - to learn more click HERE.
The monument started out as the drinking fountain here and was replaced with a modern one -- so we rescued the old fountain and had an old stone cap put on top and re-installed it as a monument!
The plaque that commemorates one of our early leaders and her accomplishments.
Next up was driving to Menucha. From their website - I liked this explanation of the place:
"Past our stone entry, a forest embraces travelers along a serpentine road. The destination: a one hundred acre sanctuary in the Columbia River Gorge. Seven hundred feet above one of the nation's epic rivers, this is a place where bald eagles float their shadows across old growth conifers; where trails may lead to heirloom gardens or perennial springs. It's called "Menucha" (Men-oo-ka), a Hebrew word meaning "ever-changing, renewing stillness." Menucha's landscapes are marked by the currents of history, which have carried both aboriginal peoples and homesteaders through its woods and meadows. Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery journeyed by Menucha. Presidents walked its paths. And, over the last half-century, tens of thousands of people from around the world have found their way here. They come for purposeful work; they find a staff whose mission is to offer the gift of hospitality, food, lodging and graceful engagement."
Here we arrive at the front of the entrance to the lodge house built by Julius Meier in the 1920s. Learn more history of the place, click HERE.
Here we are in the Great Hall, learning more about the history of the place.
The big stone fireplace with a hand carved art piece mounted above.
We admired hand carved ram's heads holding up each big beam around the room. These are the architect's signature.
We got to roam about the house, this is the Meier's bedroom, sitting room and dressing room.
I love the mossy green stain on the wood.
A photo of Julius Meier and his wife Grace. He was one of the Governor's of Oregon.
This room will sleep 5 in bunk beds! :-)
It was a perfect day for the trip, warm, sunny, perfect. So, I headed out to enjoy the gardens.. I love how the garden steps are across from the doorway.
There is a tinkling of water from this fountain and pond. When I walked up I heard a "ploink" and splash - it was a frog hopping in the water and I spied it out of the corner of my eye. Look at the lush Maidenhair Ferns with black stems!
I looked about and look what I saw.. ribbit!
From the pond I looked up to the sunny garden above.
This pretty wildflower is called "False Solomon's Seal".
Lots of pretty poppies around the grounds.
I enjoyed seeing the Meier's bedroom bay window from the outside - each of the carved plaques above the windows had a different center image.
The grounds are so green and pretty as they slope towards the bluff - in the distance, the blue you see is Washington State on the other side of the Columbia River.
I tried to capture the whole length of the house - it's quite unassuming from the front exterior, but just lovely and grand inside.
Dayle, Roberta, Denise and her husband Steve walked down to see the pool area and tennis courts - and the view. So, I gave my camera to Dayle as my knee was still bothering me. He snapped this view of the gorge from the end of the pool.
Zoom up to Beacon Rock and the beautiful Columbia River.
He zoomed and caught a different view of Vista House for us.
He snapped Denise and Steve as they walked between the pool and tennis court.
Wouldn't it be lovely to sit by a warm fire in this outdoor fireplace in the evening after a swim in the pool?
The pool will be cleaned and filled soon, but was empty for the winter.
He snapped this neat image as he walked back up the hillside.
A new addition to the back of the house is a wonderful brick patio and fire pit.
Such expansive lawns. Love.
We then entered the pretty dining hall with views towards Portland and enjoyed a fun lunch of Gyros - all the components were in bowls on the table and we all "built" our own lunch. :-) The cookies were the best part though, crunchy cookies with coconut.. yum yum!
This is the view towards Portland down river.