Headed home from Walla Walla, Suzi and I made a few stops in the Gorge. The first was Mayer State Park where I’ve taken a few pictures. A group was preparing to paddle to Hood River, a distance of probably eight miles. They were in long, slender kayaks that an online search says are called “surf skis.” One of the skis had an outrigger pontoon so the paddler used an oar instead of a kayak paddle.
When they left, we did too. We headed to the scenic loop between Rowena and Mosier.
We stopped in the iconic loop below Rowena Crest Viewpoint to enjoy some flowers, not knowing what was to come shortly.1I was disappointed there were no longboarders bombing the hill. At the viewpoint and the adjacent Tom McCall Preserve, it became obvious – fields of yellow balsamroot flowers!2And a fair amount of poison oak. Three days later, I think it’s safe to say I wasn’t exposed.
We hiked the trail to McCall Point, taking pictures and making friends along the way. We also saw a bald eagle and a rattlesnake.
We tried to take selfies multiple times, but the sun, wind, and clouds all conspired against us. No worries!
After our hike, a quick trip to Doppio in Hood River capped the day. Mmm… :-)
Driving to Walla Walla, Suzi and I traveled the historic Columbia River Highway between Mosier and Rowena. I had an ulterior motive: I wanted to stop at Rowena Crest to see another famous longboarding spot with a pretty view.
I didn’t expect to see longboarders as this was the weekend for the Fall Freeride at Maryhill Loops Road, just a little farther east. Jamison and I are hoping to participate in a freeride next summer.
I was surprised to learn Rowena Crest is just above Mayer State Park, where I’ve taken a few pictures. I guess it should have been obvious…
This highway is a pleasant diversion, one Suzi and I used to take to and from college many years ago. I think we’re going to add it back to the repertoire for our trips up and down the gorge.
This is the third year I have done this; I also posted my favorite photos of 2013 and 2014.
One reason may be that I don’t always post the same pictures on Instagram that I do here. Another is that people give love to pictures for various reasons other than artistic merit.
Traveling up the Gorge to Walla Walla, I took a few detours along the way to snap some shots.1Instead of pictures of Oregon peaks out of plane windows, prepare to be inundated with pictures from the Gorge. :-)
Multnomah Falls is always a great stop and today was no exception. The falls were full, taking my breath away just beyond the bridge.2In more ways than one. The blowing cold mist made breathing difficult.
I haven’t stopped at Mayer State Park at Rowena for a while. My earlier pictures are dark and moody. Other than all the dead fish on the beach, today’s mood was much brighter.
Although I didn’t bring my longboard,3Nor do I have the requisite skills, courage, or protective equipment, though it’s on my bucket list. I had to stop at the overlook by Maryhill Loops Road, if for no other reason than to forward the picture to Jamison and Instagram.
Last year in late December, we headed up the Gorge to Walla Walla and Dixie for a memorial service. I stopped at Mayer State Park to take another picture where I’d taken a couple previously.
“We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
“But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.”