Friday, May 8, 2015

Our Visit to Menucha

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.  

I hope you enjoyed seeing this wonderful place, we had a nice day.  This evening we're celebrating our two son's birthdays with a big steak dinner. :-)  I hope you're celebrating something wonderful in your life.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 


  1. Wow, what a breathtaking spot Teresa, it really is stunning. You've outdone yourself with your photos today! Well done to you all for saving it from development, it's so good that people care so much, and it is very well worth looking after somewhere so beautiful. I love the Meiers' bedroom, all that light from those wonderful windows, and what a gorgeous outlook onto so much green. I wouldn't mind waking up to that! I hope your sons have a fantastic birthday and that you all enjoy your meal together. I have a weekend of football ahead. It's anyone's guess whether we'll be celebrating though. CJ xx

  2. What a beautiful and interesting place to visit! So glad you enjoyed it. xx

  3. That was fun. Dayle has an eye for photography. The framing is perfect. I've not seen that view of The Vista House before - very nice!
    Al that and lunch, too - you guys sure know how to live.
    Where are we going next?
    Hope your knee is feeling better now.

  4. Thanks for introducing me to Menucha! I had not heard of it and am enjoying learning about it. It is in such a fabulous setting. Happy Birthday to your sons!! xx

  5. What an amazing place--such beautiful gardens and views! Love those multi-paned windows. Could easily spend hours there in the sunlight, in the gardens and on that brick patio :)
    Blessings, Aimee

  6. That is a beautiful place Teresa. I have never heard of Menucha. Of course I love the Vista House and have enjoyed my visits there. The pictures of both the house and the Gorge are amazing. So much beauty in such relatively small area. Thank you for sharing it with us. My drive home Wednesday was beautiful too.

  7. Such beauty, what a great place to visit and be part of. The gardens are a real delight.

  8. What a pretty spot. You had a lovely day and I agree sitting by that fire would be wonderful. Great to snap that frog! X

  9. Beautiful! And kudos to all involved in maintaining such a gorgeous area. I must get to Oregon one day. So diverse, so much to see. Best wishes, Tammy

  10. Such a fascinating and beautiful place, thank you for sharing it with us! Your photos are wonderful, and the views just gorgeous.
    Happy weekend, Teresa!
    Helen xox

  11. Wow - what an amazing place! Photographs are beautiful, as ever.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  12. Lovely,lovely,lovely! Except for your knee. Hope it gets better really soon xxx

  13. Loved the green painted wood walls too! Thanks for taking us along. You always have fantastic scenes to show!

  14. What a beautiful area! I have never been to Oregon but it's on my bucket list.

  15. Wow! What a gorgeous place to visit! Loved all your pics! :)

  16. Wow beautiful place and gorgeous picturs Teresa. 😍

  17. Such a beautiful house to visit Teresa! ...(I particularly love the room with the desk :-) )....Your photographs are lovely as always x
    Have a lovely Sunday!
    Susan x

  18. Gosh Teresa, you live such a full and wonderful life. I envy you because at the moment I'm not able to get around much - not even to go out and play with my camera. My new hip which I'll be getting on June 1 will hopefully give me a bit more freedom. I love seeing all your beautiful pictures. Wow what a lunch too !! Hope you're having a lovely Mothers Day. xox

  19. It looks like a spectacular day to visit such an amazing place. So much history. I can't imagine living there, it would be bliss.
    Hugs and Happy Mother's Day.

  20. What a gorgeous place. I always enjoy when you share your trips, especially this annual one. I hope you have a wonderful time with your kids and a very happy Mother's Day!

  21. I'll never tire of seeing the Gorge Teresa. Looks like you had a super day.

  22. Oh my, what a lovely home . . . I can just imagine the marvelous and grand garden parties that have graced the lawns. I truly appreciate the fact that you take us along on your travels. I have been learning so much about Oregon since following your blog. You are an interesting teacher . . . and keep us glued to our seats and coming back for more. Happy Mother's Day.
    Connie :)

  23. So stunning Teresa. Happy birthday to your boys. Hope you all had fun. Hugs Anne x

  24. It looks like you all had a wonderful outing ... and those views, they are out of this world, I am so glad they have been protected ... good work everyone involved :)

  25. Dale definitely has an eye for photography, lovely pictures. It looks like a very relaxing place to visit. I could happily sit by the fire pit in an evening with a nice large glass of red!


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