Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Peonies and the Waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge


A few weeks ago I posted up a picture of a pink peony blooming in the yard.  Karen mentioned that white were her favorite and I promised a picture of our white ones when they bloomed.

The rootstock of our pink tree peony is sending up shoots of its own this year too.  They are pink but with white centers.


We'd made arrangements to drive the Columbia River Gorge on Sunday and visit/hike a few waterfalls with some friends we don't get to see often enough.  It was a great day.

We started off picking them up in Portland and having a late breakfast at Back to Eden Bakery.  We picked up a few yummy things to take along and off we went down I-84 into the Columbia Gorge.

Soon we exited onto old Highway 30 - a scenic byway.  Vista House at Crown Point is a major tourist destination.  We stopped just before it to get a view of the Gorge.

Vista house can barely be seen to the right on Crown Point, a promontory in the gorge.  Here is a closer view.

Back in the car to Vista House - construction was started in December 1916.  For the story of Vista House click this -----> LINK.  

Once again in the car and a few u-turns later we were heading west down the twist and turns of the old Columbia River Highway.  This road is a perfect motorcycle road, that is unless you get stuck behind slow moving tourists.

Next stop was Latourell Falls.

Then we stopped at Bridal Veil Falls for a wee hike.

The next and last stop was Multnomah Falls.  There were so many people here that I didn't take many pictures.  I didn't get the full falls and bridge, but mostly pictures of the upper falls.  We did hike the 1.25 mile/11 switchback trail to the top.  Surprisingly we weren't even sore the next day.

View from the top of Multnomah Falls

The river plunging over the edge to become Multnomah Falls. 

I stopped to smell the wild roses on the way back down.

We made our way back down, stopped by the gift shop to have a peek and had some snacks back at the car.  By the time we drove back to Portland it was close to 6 pm and sustenance was needed. Our friends took us to a wonderful little vegan bar called Sweet Hereafter for some awesome pub food.  Thank you again you two - you know who you are.

 Troubadour's Buffalo Soy Curl Baguette

My Eastern Bowl - tofu, broccoli, avocado and peanut sauce over brown rice

I didn't get a picture of the raw vegan strawberry cheesecake but it too was delicious. Soon we had to drop our friends off and head home.  Brad had to work Memorial Day Monday so the alarm would ring at 4 am.  We managed to get home by 9:30 and in bed by 10:30.  It was a long but awesome day.

For some reason I don't think the pictures of the waterfalls turned out as well this time as they did when Meg and I went hiking.  I think because these waterfalls were so much higher and the clouds and cliffs were darker.

- Au Revoir

"There are big ships and small ships, but the best ship of all is friendship." - Author Unknown

Thursday, May 23, 2013

2013 Oregon Vintage Motorcycle Show

Last weekend was the annual OVM - Oregon Vintage Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet.  This years marque was Suzuki.  Since this is held within a few blocks of our house we walked rather than rode to the show.

Although it didn't rain while we were there, ominous clouds threatened from the Southwest throughout the day.

I've heard opinions to the contrary since Sunday, but I didn't feel that this show was as big as it was in years past.  Here are some highlights from the swap meet, the show, and the parking lot.


The Hodaka riding group were set up in the swap meet area, though the bikes were not for sale.


(1927 Thomann - single cyl, 250 cc, magneto for ignition, 3-speed lever shift)

(1956 Triumph T-110 Tiger, 650 cc - owner's blog LINK)

(I was enjoying the reflection of the clouds)
(Velocette L.e.)

(1968 Suzuki B105P, 120 cc, early trail bike)

(1980 Suzuki GS1000S, Wes Cooley special imported in 1979 and 1980 only)

(1969 Kawasaki Mach III, 500 cc, two stroke)

(1982 Honda MB5, 50 cc)

(1971 Honda QA50, 50 cc mini bike)

(1970 Lil Indian 450, 3 hp)

(1941 Indian Sport Scout, 45 ci)
(We see this bad boy near campus quite often, it gets ridden a lot)


All in all it was a good show and always worth attending.  There is nothing wrong with looking at shiny bikes on a cloudy Spring afternoon.

- Au Revoir

" Whatever it is, it's better in the wind." - Author Unknown

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Walk in the Woods with SpartanBabe

On Sunday, Troubadour was teaching a Team Oregon class and I felt the need for some exercise so SpartanBabe (aka Meg) and I arranged to go for an early morning hike.  I drove East across the valley  and arrived at her house about 7:30 am.  She readied the dogs (Annie & Oakleigh) and off we went.

I am not very familiar with Linn County so I let her pick a hiking destination. She chose McDowell Creek Falls County Park - good choice.

There were over 50 of these stairs cut into the mountain close to the start of the trail.  I could feel my legs burning by the time we got to the top.  SpartanBabe even spotted a snail on the trail.

We were rewarded with beautiful views of the falls.  There are three waterfalls in the park.

According to the sign we were in a temperate rain forest.

We zig-zagged over the river. The county provided very nice wooden bridges.  One set of stairs had a step missing and SpartanBabe ended up carrying Annie (the black lab) down when she wouldn't hop over it.  Much to Meg's dismay, Annie was still wet from swimming in the river.  We laughed and carried on.

The thimbleberries and salmonberries were blooming. As were the bleeding hearts and other shrubbery.

Faded almost done blooming Bleeding Heart

Random yellow bloom with a little bug on its petal

Back to the trail, we saw the Royal Terrace waterfall.

Bridge where I took the picture of the falls

Panoramic upriver

Before long we were back at the parking area.  It was a short hike, but a good one.

I spent a few minutes taking pictures of the old mossy picnic tables and the dogs.

 Annie and Oakleigh


My Keen hiking shoes - sorry Bobskoot no bare feet for me this day.

Next up SpartanBabe and I are doing a 5k run at the 106th Annual Rhododendron Festival in Florence tomorrow while Troubadour is teaching another Team Oregon class. The Oregon Vintage Motorcycle Show is on Sunday so hopefully there will be a lot of cool bikes on display.

Have a great weekend everyone.

-Au Revoir

"Great things are done when men and mountains meet.  This is not done by jostling in the street." - William Blake