We left Umatilla, Oregon pretty early this morning and headed down the Columbia River. Bro. Garmin (My GPS) led me astray within the first mile so I knew I was in for a ride today! A wrong turn now and then is not to bad unless you are 45 feet long plus Mr. Cheap Jeep and you can't back up much at all without unhooking the jeep. Well, a tour through a high school parking lot and we were on our way!
As I said yesterday, I had heard and read much about the Columbia River Gorge so we were very anxious to see it for ourselves. We had crossed the Columbia River on I-90 back in 2005 while pulling our fifth wheel and again the next day going south on I-5. We were impressed then but nothing prepared us for the beauty we saw today as we drove West on I-84. The Columbia River was to our right and it was great! The river flows through a gorge for miles and miles and we were in awe the whole distance. We probably took 50 pictures but as we often say pictures can not capture what the eye can see. Let me put it this way, if you love mountains, canyons, cliffs and water then you will love seeing it all mixed together in the Columbia River Gorge!
We left early so we could be at Cascade Locks by 10:30 to board a stern-wheeler for a two hour tour, a two hour tour....No, we didn't become castaways on a deserted island, we didn't even get on the boat. We called ahead to make sure they had Bus and RV parking and they assured me that they did. When we pulled up to the place it had a 12ft. clearance. Out of the four RVs we have lived in through the years only one of them would have fit into their parking lot. They suggested I park on the street! No, thanks. We ditched the boat ride and kept driving. Of course I had to turn around twice in that little town. The first time I cut through a dirt parking lot at a pretty steep angle (while Kelly Jo was in the shower) and the second time I drove 6 miles before I could find a place to turn around.
Next we followed the signs for Multnomah Falls (A Must See Along The Columbia River) and found ourselves on a very curvy, very narrow road winding our way around the bend about 5 miles to the falls. When we arrive we discover you can exit off the interstate right there and walk through a tunnel and into the parking lot we were in. We couldn't access the interstate there so we had to continue about 3 more even curvier and even more narrow roads before we could join I-84 again. I told you I knew as soon as Bro. Garmin lied to me that it was going to be one of those days. lol The falls were worth it though! Plus I had a great visit with a group of Amish folks from near Goshen and Shipshewana, Indiana on a cross country bus tour. And we had a great lunch in the bus.
We have settled for the night in a campground in Sutherlin, Oregon. We made it about 368 miles. That's not too bad considering all the stops we made along the Columbia River taking in the scenery. But we are not quite half way to our destination in California.