After a really great time in the Tri-Cities, Washington the time had come to move on. We had two open nights available before our reservation in Portland, so we thought we would explore The Dalles and Hood River, Oregon. Two years ago we remembered this as a wonderful drive and were excited that this time rather than driving straight through, we would linger a couple of days and really explore the area. There are several state parks scattered all along the drive with first-come-first served sites available and we landed a nice one at Memaloose State Park.
After setting up our site we decided to drive over to The Dalles to explore it and rather than driving the freeway, we took the Scenic Highway 30 Byway. What a great decision that was. This drive took us higher in elevation offering some really stunning views of the Columbia River at several turnouts. We could not resist stopping at each turnout because the panorama was just gorgeous. So what should have been a 15 minute drive over took about three times longer with all our stopping and photographing of the scenery. By the time we made it to The Dalles, it was Happy Hour so we stopped at Clock Tower Ales Restaurant and Brew Pub. We enjoyed our cold beers and had we been hungry we certainly would have enjoyed their yummy looking happy hour priced food specials. Instead we decided we would rather enjoy our dinner with great river and mountain views at our RV site at Memaloose.
The next morning we were both wanting to take a drive over to Mt. Hood and take a hike if we found a trail to our liking. We took the “Fruit Loop”, an aptly named route winding past farms and orchards growing peaches, apples, cherries and other treats. Sharon wanted to stop so we did and saw some delicious offerings. We left with a bag of several varieties of freshly picked apples. As we made our way up the mountain we saw several cars parked at a trailhead to Tamawanas Falls. The map at the trailhead indicated it was a 4 mile hike round trip and we felt this would be perfect. The hike started out paralleling the road but soon turned into a canyon following a creek all the way up to the Falls. The Falls were fantastic and the cool mist was a treat on this hot summer day. After returning from the hike we drove further up the mountain to the Mt Hood Meadows Ski resort. The resort was closed for the season but had picnic tables outside facing the ski slopes and the top of Mt Hood giving us a perfect place for lunch. It was great watching the clouds wisp on and off of the mountaintop and to see the sun glinting off the snow.
After lunch, as we were driving away from the resort we spied another Falls trail. Umbrella Falls would be only a half mile so off we went! Umbrella Falls was smaller than Tamawanas but was a beautiful cascading falls nonetheless. As an added bonus we discovered ripe huckleberries begging to be picked all along the trail. Needless to say, we could not resist taking home some huckleberries.
We made our way over to the town of Hood River. We liked the look of the town so we parked and walked the three main blocks. Along the way we visited two breweries Full Sail and Double Mountain. We especially enjoyed Double Mountain where Sharon enjoyed a Carrie Ladd Porter and I a nice IPA. Back at camp we prepared a yummy dinner for two and then I made a nice campfire, we both voiced how glad we were that we decided to stay the two nights in this beautiful place. Next stop…..Portland!