Now I know why it is so green-Pacific NorthWest Rain forest;)
Green it is, for a reason, especially in Spring we have been told. Last June it was a miraculous blue sky, this May, well, gray skies prevailed! We’d opted out of staying in Portland, the RV park there was right in the flight path of the airport and beside a busy road. Our friends had taken us out to Sauvie Island and that is where we decided to go back to. Such a gorgeous place. The orchards were just starting to bloom and it was quiet, with the exception of the traffic on the Columbia River. Groot and Gamora nearly had heart failure as the first freighter chugged by as they played down on a small beach at Reeder Beach RV Park. That was something new. These ships really move, great to watch the bow waves and ship names as they chugged on by to be loaded with wheat and cars it seems.
I have always wanted to see the Columbia River Gorge and the famous 611′ of towering roaring Multnomah Falls. Absolutely out of this world with the Spring run off. We drove up the 84 and veered off on the Historic Columbia River Scenic Highway when we could. Through the mists and rain it was a beautiful sight, not a photographers dream but very mystical at times. In 2017 a blaze spread to more than 48,000 acres. It would be known as the Eagle Creek fire, which burned for two months. The eire skyline of dead trees is a constant reminder of the stupidity of humans:( teens with firecrackers…heartbreaking.
As we went East we escaped the rain for a bit and stopped in Hood River for a bite of lunch with our great friend Ian and Dobby the dog, at the Solstice Wood Fired Pizza Bar. It was wonderful surprise right on the river. Excellent thin crust pizza. The “Siragusa Pear”, local pears, bleu cheese, caramelized onions, and mozzarella cheese and “Hot Mamma”, pepperoni, pepperoncini, peppadew peppers, marinara, and mozzarella were perfectly cooked, delicious crust, not too many toppings-perfection! The roasted brussel sprouts fabulous as well! We left for a walk around Hood River and a coffee to rouse our sleepy souls before heading back on the old highway to see the Falls, multiple falls I might add, all in the rain;)
By the time we reached Multnomah Falls it was raining hard. I hid my camera under my jacket and ventured off for the amazing view while the gentlemen stayed in the relative warmth of the truck. I was glad I did, and I’ll be back on a sunny day, one day! Absolutely stunning!
Thanks to Wikipedia: Sauvie Island, originally Wapato Island or Wappatoo Island, is the largest island along the Columbia River, at 26,000 acres and one of the largest river islands in the United States. It lies approximately ten miles northwest of downtown Portland, between the Columbia River to the east, Multnomah Channel to the west, and the Willamette River to the south. A large portion of the island is designated as the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area. Sturgeon Lake, in the north central part of the island, is the most prominent water feature.
The island received the name “Sauvés Island” after Laurent Sauvé dit Laplante, a French-Canadian who managed a dairy for the Hudson’s Bay Company in the 1830s and 1840s. It is predominantly farmland and wildlife refuge and is a popular place for picking pumpkins, berries and apples. It even has a clothing optional beach;) There are 1,078 year-round residents, and two RV parks. We chose Reeder Beach after our visit last year and the charming older couple who owned it. They have free range chickens there and delicious eggs for sale at their little store. How can you beat that in a RV park! and those walnut trees, huge towering trees in the campground. They are spectacular!
The best thing for me about this lovely RV park, the nesting pair of Ospreys right in front of out trailer! They arrived the same day we did and went to work repairing their nest. Dragging sticks from the river as well as taking dead branches from nearby trees. What a delight to watch these beautiful birds! Yes, get ready for an onslaught of Osprey pictures;)
I did spend many hours by the bank between rain showers and gloom watching them rebuild and yes, start making new Ospreys;) I prayed for better light and sun and was rewarded with an occasional break in the clouds!
Groot was not so enthused about the rain. The river went up so much his beach disappeared and the horns on the freighters were most alarming, one day a large loose dog came bounding down his beach, friendly, NOT said Groot! Gamora was scared inside one day by a flock of very loud Sandhill Cranes circling overhead, cat bombers she must have thought, as well as a few low flying planes when the winds shifted so did the incoming plane paths.
It was a glorious spot for a week though! Even in the drizzle it was lovely! We had a few more outings with our wonderful friend Ian and his wife Sarah, a Brewery, a lovely Thai restaurant and the famous Freaky but true Pelculiarium!
“We are not quite sure how to explain the Peculiarium…it’s truly one-of-a-kind! “Museum” simply does not seem adequate to describe this freaky-but-fascinating collection of Sci-Fi art exhibits, historical oddities, and celebration of urban legends. We’re pretty sure that the city motto “Keep Portland Weird” was invented right after a visit to the Peculiarium! This is one attraction that is definitely not meant for children, but for those of us who love to stretch our imagination (and nightmares!) to the limits, this is as must-see place for truly unbelievable artwork, performances, and events celebrating the creepiest, most terrifying…things…in the world. The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium is not for the faint-hearted, but for the rest of us “weirdos,” it makes our skin crawl in the most excellent way.
That was a well spent afternoon:) Ha! Love to love weirdness, if you are in Portland-Go! Do you know the city has more than 162 dispensaries? Some great witty signs/names out there full of imagination! Green Gratitude, Canna Bro’s, Cannabliss and Company, Budlandia, Top Shelf Budz, Bigfoot Bud and the list goes on. I should have taken more pictures;) They have embraced their cannabis completely! I did catch the Trump piñata in a store window;)
But it was time to go! North to Vancouver. It was with sadness we left our good friends but Perth was calling and we still had another, well, several thousand kilometres to go! I’ll leave you with this wonderful collection of painted stones scattered around the campground-reminders that it is nice to be nice, and fun to have fun;)
Saludos amigos-stay tuned for Vancouver and points further East!