Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Boring End

Or, the end of our stay in Boring, OR. We're really going to miss the best thing about our fantastic parking spot - free blueberries!

One thing I really wanted to do here was hike up to the top of Beacon Rock.

It's a very interesting trail - built on the side of the rock.

There are 53 switchbacks in all!

Going up, you get a great view of the Columbia River -

And you can even see Bonneville Dam in the distance.

We also had a very special tour of the Guide Dogs for the Blind facility here in Boring. This very friendly guy was there to greet us. He is a "career change" dog, who did not work out as a guide dog. Why not???

No, this wasn't why. Turns out he was a sock eater.

But this was a very special day, because they were having a graduation ceremony for 6 dogs and their new owners. They should have provided tissues - there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

We also took a trip to Oregon City, the end of the Oregon Trail. We took the elevator here down to the Willamette River -

Where we saw Willamette Falls, although the Falls were barely flowing.

But we did get a nice view of some baby osprey.

I also went to see the Riverview Abbey Mausoleum. It's a huge place - 35-40,000 people are buried here!

Including my grandparents.

We ended our Boring visit with a spectacular full moon.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

More and More Waterfalls

On our next Boring day (oh, I mean day in Boring...) we went back to see all the waterfalls on the Historic Columbia River Highway. Although I guess you should save the best for last, if you do that here, you won't find a parking space. So we started out with gigantic Multnomah Falls.

We walked up to the bridge to get a close-up look at the Upper Falls.

Then moved on to Horsetail Falls, which was right by the road.

I loved the volcanic rock formation behind the falls.

A closeup.

We then moved on to Wahkeena Falls -

And Bridal Veil Falls.

And last, but not least, Latourell Falls.

It drops straight down from an overhanging basalt cliff.

A close-up of the columnar basalt formations.

While at Latourell Falls, a butterfly got very attached to me, and traveled with me quite a ways.

He even got on my hand and rode!

On our way home, we stopped at a lavender farm, just to take some photos.

The smell was amazing, and the bees really loved it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Welcome to Boring!

Oregon, that is, and it's anything but Boring! We're staying on private property at one of our member's properties. It's gorgeous!

And occasionally, Mt. Hood peeks out of the clouds.

He had a lot planned for us, starting out with a visit to the Sandy Gorge Overlook -

Followed by a tour of the Pendleton Woolen Mill in Washougal, WA.

No pictures are allowed inside, but there are plenty available on the internet.

It's amazing how fast the looms go.

But the best part is the factory store! Most of us walked out with some goodies.

The next day we went out to Chanticleer Point, where we got a view of the Columbia River Gorge, including Vista House and Beacon Rock.

We next drove over to Vista House -

Where we saw the unusual stained glass windows.

We followed that with a hike up to the top of Larch Mountain. There are 100 steep steps to the top.

On a clear day, you can see lots of the local mountains, but not today. But the WINs are always willing to pose!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Old Salmon River Trail

We had one last hike while in the Government Camp, OR area - The hike along the Old Salmon River Trail.

The trail goes through an old growth forest with some fantastic moss-covered trees.

We went by lots of "nursery logs."

This fern on top of a rock looked like hair on top of a face to me.

We saw a Common Merganser mama with 13 babies!

Look at that hairdo!

They were headed upstream, and it was fun to watch the babies climb the rapids.

We also saw a gross slug crawling along.

And the grandaddy of the nurse trees.

Sally had to hug some of the gigantic Red Cedar trees.

Just in case we overdid it and someone had a heart attack, there was plenty of digitalis available...