Thus far on our leisurely paced road trip, a late dinner equals a late bedtime. Packing in every site worth seeing is absolutely worth it, don’t get me wrong, but hey, we’re only human. Caffeine can only get you so far. But what can get you even farther despite tired bones is a healthy dose of endorphins.
Having enjoyed my significant stream of energy throughout our Portland exploration, I was determined to repeat an early morning workout session. Choosing to jump on a treadmill instead of powering it out T25 style, I underestimated my lack of straight endurance. Even after only twenty minutes, let’s just say a refuel in water was necessary.
The Hilton Garden Inn didn’t disappoint on hydration nor on another fluffy egg white omelet, fresh fruit overload, or vanilla scented chai tea. Prepped for a day of hiking according to my parent’s, I never could have imagined the scenic views and steep trails following our checkout.
As we left our Lake Oswego hub again commenting on the ‘Oh, it’s so woodsy!’ outdoor smell, our loaded Ford Focus speeded past familiar highways into new territory. Maneuvering through narrow twists and turns shadow casted by towering evergreen trees, my slightly delirious imagination arose once more. Visions of uprooted nature swaying to a nearby train’s tune danced in my head. Even renowned global artists can’t compete with the beauty Mother Nature creates for our benefit.
Egging my parent’s to step out onto her planted canvas, the tires rolled to a halt at the Columbia Gorge Vista Point.Feasting my eyes on a rusted blue body of water, there is no denying the expansive gorge is absolutely gorge-ous[how many times have visitors used this pun?].
Once returning to my backseat, I barely had time to Instagram the POV shot before being alerted of our next arrival.
The Wakeena Falls have been highly recommended by the Portland hiker’s club enticing amateurs and expert hikers alike. Ready to take in the site clad with water bottles, we left the car intrigued to experience it ourselves.
After several quite vertical switchbacks paving a trail around the greenery, a crisp mist sprayed the crashing waters our way, much appreciated following the intense incline.
Breezing my hair and clothes in a messy Baywatch fashion, the roaring water’s could be a good contender for #1 on the trail’s Top 40. Beautiful as it was however, we were only getting started.
Continuing for another mile and a half of paved switchbacks, and upward rocky ground, we encountered sister rushing waters, skipping over slippery boulders, under tittering wood plank bridges, and enhancing the thick skyscraper trees.
Breathing deeply due to the difficult trail, at least it was fresh as one could come by.
Once realizing the trek down would take a fair amount of time, our developed appetites influenced our choice to turn back. Just a half a mile down the road, food awaited yet another must see destination intriguing global audiences beckoned us first; a smooth finish to the bulk of our hiking.
Based on Native American lore, the heart of a young princess wanted a hidden place to bathe ultimately creating the breathtaking Multnomah Falls. Producing a frothy pool of ice water from the 611 drop, this cascading sheet of beauty is unmistakably Oregon.
Leaving the Falls behind with every app accounted for[even flippin’ Tinder moments now!], the nearby Lodge restaurant looked pretty darn good. With an array of fresh fish options undoubtedly in the season’s wild river arena, I can say a salad hasn’t tasted that good in quite some time.
Lightly dressed in savory sweet hazelnut vinaigrette, spinach played the backdrop to toasted hazelnut bits, plump grape tomatoes, sliced egg, slightly crisp fried porcinis, and a whipped salmon to transform any seafood hater. Substantially filling me up without that ‘ugh, I don’t want this in my body anymore’ feeling, I didn’t find myself in a food coma, but instead, in food heaven.
Although the food remained present in mind long after we drove off, the interval run on top of dramatic hiking had took a pricey toll on my body. I don’t often take naps due to my sleep paralysis, but faced with a cozy bed at our Bed & Breakfast for the night, I simply couldn’t resist. Guess I was back to the ole eat, sleep routine. Definition of vacation I suppose?
Once waking to, you guessed it, eat, our party of three mozied off to a quaint bistro in the little town of Hood River. Our waiter expectedly introduced himself, began rattling off the evening specials, and accepting my adopted animal tendencies, my ears perked up when salmon was once again offered as a specialty. Noting its primetime season of May-September, any chance to stomach the wild varieties is like edamame at an Asian restaurant. You just order it.
The type of fullness I left the restaurant with did border on that not so desired feeling, but there really is no room for complaints. My family and I constantly debate over returning to restaurant’s for the service even if the meal was sub-par, and vice versa; a simple ‘have a good night!’ following a night of genuine attentiveness and care really seals the deal, and after receiving just that, I can say I’d definitely give the location another try.
What shouldn’t be tried is another food coma, yet I have a heavy hunch this Summer isn’t going to fit that wish. Here’s to hopping through more towns tomorrow.