July 14 – 22
California was great but we are ready to move onward and upward. Look out Pacific Northwest here we come!
The next stop is Cascade Lock, Oregon which is on the northwest boarder of Washington and not far from Portland. Mark has to travel for work so that was the driver for this location. But what a beautiful location it is! The drive from San Jose was going to be a long one 10-12 hrs. so we decided to head out late Friday afternoon to make some time. We stopped in Redding, CA at Mountain Gate RV Park which was really cute, too bad it was only for a night.
Saturday we drove about 8 hrs. and arrived at the KOA at Cascade Locks, the campground was ok, there was a lot of dirt which I’m not sure what the solution would be since it is located within a lot of tress? Although, the owner was awesome letting Carson and Kennedy utilize one of the campsites across from our site, to put up their ENOS and have their own little Shangri la…gave them something to do while I was working during the day.
Sunday, we drove Mark to the Portland airport for his week of work travel. We missed him but had a great time anyway…sorry honey:) After we dropped him off Carson, Kennedy and I visited Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, WA. This place was soooo beautiful!! The kids went zip lining and then we hung out at the restaurant. There was an incredible view as well as a big open area with chairs and a wooden box that everyone could use with Frisbees, and other various types of outdoor games. It truly was a beautiful, festive place, highly recommend if you’re in that area.
We also visited Bonneville Lock and Dam. We enjoyed the fish ladder and the huge spillway. Right next door is the fish hatchery, the grounds were beautiful with gorgeous landscaping. I loved all the rose bushes. We also got to see Herman the giant Sturgeon, he is 11 feet long, 500 pounds, and 70 yrs. old. He was definitely the highlight and the fact that all this was free made it a thumbs up in my book.
Cascade Lock is a cute town right on the water. Not a lot going on but again, it is so beautiful with all the mountains and nature. We also went hiking to an incredible waterfall but now I don’t remember the name. There are a bunch of waterfalls in the area though so if you ever visit, they’ll be easy to find.
Another cool activity was the Sternwheeler cruise of the dam. It was a great sightseeing cruise through the heart of the Columbia River Gorge where the Captain shared information about the Bonneville Dam, Bridge of the Gods, Native American fishing platforms, Skamania lodge, Wind Mountain and we also got to see Wind Surfers and Kite Boarders.
It was midweek and we had done all this fun stuff but then we were talking to one of our fellow campers and he shared that Mt. Hood has year round skiing/snowboarding. What!!! Mt. Hood was only about an hour away. That’s it, we gotta do it!! So I took the day off on Thursday, we dug into our storage for our ski clothes and headed out. It was hard to get our heads around ski clothes when we were wearing shorts and tank tops. The drive there was incredible. We all agreed that the Pacific NW is truly epic with the spectacular mountain views.
We arrived at Timberline lodge which is considered a National Historic Landmark, it truly is a magnificent ski lodge. There were ski schools happening and a lot of activity. Honestly is was quite bizarre to us coming from where we were sweating an hour ago to now freezing as we rode the lift up the mountain. Carson and Kennedy snowboarded and I skied. It was fun although I took an epic fall and had about 10 young girls surrounding me to see if I was ok. I think my pride was more bruised than my body.
We had lunch in the lodge, which again, was exactly what you’d imagine a ski lodge to be, thick dark beams, cobblestone fireplaces, carved hand rails. I wish we could have stayed there longer but our sweet little Jessie was back at the RV starting to cross her legs I’m sure.
We drove back to Cascade Locks exhausted and sore but with a continued level of awe and gratitude for what we just experienced. Now it was time to get things packed up and ready to head to our next destination, Bozeman, Montana. We’ll be picking Mark up from the airport from his travels and then heading out in the morning.