As I mentioned before since our days were so long (in a good way) but since we covered so much ground and so many amazingly beautiful places my daily travel posts aren’t including as much detail and as many pictures as I’d like. I want to write individual posts on many of the spots on this trip in more detail with more pictures. One day when I’m caught up, I’ll go back and share more.
Today’s post covers our last full day of our west coast trip. We slept later that day than any other day on trip, which was nice. We grabbed a bite from our hotels HOT breakfast (yay, Hampton Inn!) and then made our way over to downtown Portland to check out the infamous Voodoo Donut. We had the address plugged into our GPS, so when we got close and found a parking spot we just parked. We didn’t drive by to check it out or anything. As we walked there, I was noticing a large number of homeless people. After walking a couple blocks and continuing to have to dodge homeless folks laying on the ground or standing mindlessly in the middle of the sidewalks, we noticed this:
I was floored! All the blogs and reviews I had read never mentioned there’s a line and usually a long line anytime of day. We crossed the street to see if we could get a little closer look without going inside. We tried to peak through the window with cupped hands, but really couldn’t see much. We were also approached by a homeless lady asking for spare change. This is a convenient place for beggers to hang out since VooDoo takes nothing but cash. There was also a guy with a cardboard sign with something scrawled across it. We dashed back to our car back through the crowds of homeless people realizing this area of Old Town is occupied by several missions and other places like Salvation Army to feed, cloth, and help the homeless find jobs and get off the street.
Leaving there perplexed, we decided to forge on and check out the Columbia River Gorge in hopes to see Multnomah Falls for the first time. However, this place was covered over with so many people and we got stuck in a long line on the street as people waited to park at the Multnomah Lodge. However, this seems like a really great place to go to in the off season as there looks to be several water falls and trails. We were able to see this fall from the road as we got the heck out of there because the crowds were overwhelming.
At this scenic stop, we got a little history lesson about how the Columbia River as well as how Mount Hood got its name.
We did ended up circling back and went to the Vista House. This was a nice stop with lots of parking and we were able to see some nice views of the Columbia River.
After that we were ready to truck up to Mount Hood to see this beautiful mountain close up and visit the Timberline Lodge. We punched it into our GPS, which ended up taking us through the countryside. It made for a much more interesting drive than taking the interstate.
When we got into Welches, OR which is about 20 miles from Timberline Lodge, we decided this would be a good stopping point for lunch. It was Taco Tuesday, so that made me super happy (3 tacos for $3), Alex had the kid’s “sketti,” and Drew and Rob had steak.
Some views of the mountain as we got closer.
Driving up to Timberline Lodge wasn’t nearly as impressive as I had remembered. There wasn’t much snow like the times we’ve gone up there. The lodge itself is still like something you see in a movie.
After looking around and reading about the history of this National Historic Landmark, we went outside and took a short hike up part of the mountain for some nice views and so the kids could get their hands in the snow again.
This is the view from where we stopped looking back Timberline Lodge and Mount Jefferson way in the distance.
Here’s Alex standing at the bottom of the slope that was open. When we were there skiiers and snowboarders are only able to ski and snowboard in the mornings, so the slope wasn’t active when were there since it was after lunch.
Another view of the top of Timberline Lodge and Mount Jefferson
While driving back from Mount Hood, we were trying to figure out how to spend our last evening of our trip. I knew I kind of wanted to get a picture of the Famous Portland sign, so Rob drove me by to get a pic of it.
Then we decided to park and walk around downtown Portland one last time. Here’s some pics I took as we walked around.
This is the Tom McCall Waterfront Park that we were at on …. where the Blues Festival was going on and we weren’t able to see much of the park itself. The geese took over and were helping clean up.
Alex really enjoyed running around videoing them on his iPod.
So after walking around for awhile we said goodbye to downtown Portland on a hunt for something for dinner.
We ate dinner at La Hacienda Real Mexican Restaurant and then went back to the hotel to swim and relax.