Great Drive Series – Along the Columbia River in Oregon

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Oregon has been a place I have always been wanting to go.  When the opportunity to go on a business trip to Portland arose, I was thrilled.  Though I was not able to append a weekend on either end of the business trip to get to explore more, I did have a Sunday afternoon and the hours after office hours to check some of the area.

My favorite part was driving along the Columbia River Gorge.  I had not read up much about the area before going and it surprised to discover there was a gorge along parts of the Columbia River, near Portland.  I discovered it by looking outside my seat window as we were close to land in PDX.  I was very lucky to have picked a window seat (I am a serial aisler) and that it was on the right side of the plane which not only afforded me the opportunity to discover the gorge but also to see Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams.  (Clearly, the airplane’s window was a little dirty and, seemingly, so was the air right above – notice the brownish line killing my clear view of the top of Mt. St. Helens).

Mt St Helens, Mt Adams, Columbia River, Columbia River gorge, airplane view, travel, photo, Samsung Galaxy

Mt. St. Helens on the left, Mt. Adams on the right; the Columbia River and the gorge in the middle

Mt St Helens, Mt Adams, Columbia River, Columbia River gorge, airplane view, travel, photo, Samsung Galaxy, Portland, Oregon

Close up of the mountains (and the window smudge!)

Getting to the Columbia River Gorge from Portland was very easy.  Just take I-84 East.  To visit the most famous of the waterfalls, Multnomah, one doesn’t even really have to get off the interstate:  there is a parking area in the middle of the interstate (a rest area) and a tunnel under the lanes to get to the waterfall.

Portland, Columbia River, Oregon, Multnomah Falls, gorge, scenic, nature, outdoors, Samsung Galaxy, photo, travel

At the top of the photo, you can see the rest area

But it is nicer to get off earlier (at Troutdale or Corbett) and then do the scenic route, passing other waterfalls along the way.  The scenery is beautiful.Portland, Columbia River, Oregon, Multnomah Falls, gorge, scenic, nature, outdoors, Samsung Galaxy, photo, travel Portland, Columbia River, Oregon, Multnomah Falls, gorge, scenic, nature, outdoors, Samsung Galaxy, photo, travel Portland, Columbia River, Oregon, Multnomah Falls, gorge, scenic, nature, outdoors, Samsung Galaxy, photo, travel Portland, Columbia River, Oregon, Multnomah Falls, gorge, scenic, nature, outdoors, Samsung Galaxy, photo, travel

The first main stop is phenomenal:  Vista House on the Crown Point Scenic Corridor.  You enjoy great vistas up- and down-river of the Columbia River from this high vantage point.  I wish I had been there for sunrise or sunset (or both) – bet the view would have been even better!Columbia River, Portland, Oregon, gorge, Vista House, nature, outdoors, travel, Samsung Galaxy, photoColumbia River, Portland, Oregon, gorge, Vista House, nature, outdoors, travel, Samsung Galaxy, photo Columbia River, Portland, Oregon, gorge, Vista House, nature, outdoors, travel, Samsung Galaxy, photo Columbia River, Portland, Oregon, gorge, Vista House, nature, outdoors, travel, Samsung Galaxy, photo Columbia River, Portland, Oregon, gorge, Vista House, nature, outdoors, travel, Samsung Galaxy, photo, vista

After Vista House continuing eastbound, a series of waterfalls come before getting to Multnomah Falls, the tallest falls in the state.  There are several trails available to get out and walk.  I reserved my limited time to go up the Multnomah Falls which rises over 600 ft.  Multnomah, falls, waterfalls, Oregon, Columbia River, gorge, scenic drive, outdoors, nature, travel, photo, Samsung Galaxy

I did the round trip up and down in slightly less than an hour.  It is nice they numbered the switchbacks going up but it certainly made me anxious to get to the last one – I’d rather not know how many I have left!

Latourell Falls on the left and Multnomah Falls on the right

Latourell Falls on the left and Multnomah Falls on the right

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Multnomah, falls, waterfalls, Oregon, Columbia River, gorge, scenic drive, outdoors, nature, travel, photo, Samsung Galaxy

At the top of Multnomah!

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Yikes, close to the edge!

I do wish I had had time to go to the coast and visit the Lewis & Clark National Wildlife Refuge.  I enjoyed reading the story of Lewis & Clark a few years ago and would have enjoyed seeing where their journey ended where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean.  Next time!

The Walls of the Wadi Mujib

Wadi Mujib, Jordan, outdoors, adventure, fun, Middle East, colors, travel, photo, Olympus

The Wadi Mujib in Jordan is a fun place because you get to explore a gully (“wadi”) in which water is flowing.  The first part of the Wadi is maybe ankle deep or a little higher in some places so pretty easy and fun (though I kept worrying I would drop my camera in the water!).  It is also a refreshing way to spend part of the day as you are generally out of the sun and the water feels good!

Wadi Mujib, Jordan, outdoors, adventure, fun, Middle East, colors, travel, photo, Olympus

The entrance to the wadi

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My favorite part of exploring the Wadi Mujib is to see those colorful walls up close.  I walked with no rush and soaked in the view all around me.  For the more intrepid, go deeper into the canyon where a true adventure awaits (don’t bring your camera unless it is waterproof!).Wadi Mujib, Jordan, outdoors, adventure, fun, Middle East, colors, travel, photo, Olympus Wadi Mujib, Jordan, outdoors, adventure, fun, Middle East, colors, travel, photo, Olympus Wadi Mujib, Jordan, outdoors, adventure, fun, Middle East, colors, travel, photo, Olympus Wadi Mujib, Jordan, outdoors, adventure, fun, Middle East, colors, travel, photo, Olympus

And if you are tired of walking, just ride your way out!Wadi Mujib, Jordan, outdoors, adventure, fun, Middle East, travel, photo, Olympus

If you go to Jordan, don’t miss this neat outdoor experience!

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