So way back in January, I thought about starting a new feature about destinations. It never quite got off the ground as I tried it once, and never got back to it. But in thinking over what I've been doing, and what I'd like to do, I decided it was time to mix things up a bit, and add in to the mix. So the shuffling process began last week when I decided to stop doing "Wordless Wednesdays", and instead, moved the wordless photo feature to Fridays with the renamed, "Featured Foto Friday". In doing so, it freed up Wednesdays for what I truly do hope to be a new regular feature here in stopher's stuff - "Where in the World Wednesdays: Destinations to Explore Before Leaving this Life."
Let's face it, we all have bucket lists for our lives, and many of our lists include places to see or explore. Many of us are stuck in the same rut of going to the same place for vacation year after year. I grew up doing that, as my parents would take us to the same mountain resort community for a time of fishing, horseback riding and just enjoying nature. I have family and friends who return to the exact same place year after year... some have been doing so for 50+ years; I also have family and friends who mix it up and like to explore new places every time they go on vacation. Everyone's different. Some own cabins or beach houses, some own timeshares, some own nothing and always look for something new. While there is nothing wrong with returning to places that feed our soul, or bring joy and happiness - the world is truly FULL of wonderful locations. Many of which are, even in the 21st century, still somewhat remote and full of beauty. As I continue to research and share about destinations, I will touch upon many that I have been to personally, and others that are on my own bucket list. When appropriate, I'll add my own photos, when it's somewhere I haven't been, I'll add a photo or two that I secure someplace else. I hope you enjoy this new feature, and please, comment and share it with your friends.
The Columbia River Gorge – Oregon & Washington
Separating the states of Oregon and Washington, along the trails that Lewis & Clark explored more than 200 years ago when they first saw the Pacific Ocean, lies the great Columbia River Gorge. This 80-mile-long gorge passes through the Cascade Mountains, and is one of the most dramatic destinations to explore in the Pacific Northwest. It was designated by Congress as the first of America’s National Scenic Areas in 1986.
|The mountains as seen from inside the Skamania Lodge|
on the Washington side, spring 2009
The river itself is about a mile wide, and is flanked by the majestic volcanic sentinels of Mount Hood on the Oregon side, and Mount Adams on the Washington side. It is the only sea-level passage through the Sierra and Cascade mountain ranges, and therefore has served as a major transportation corridor for centuries, and was the final passage along the “Oregon Trail” for pioneers seeking a new life on the western frontier.
|Multnomah Falls, from my spring 2009 visit|
Throughout the gorge, along the banks of the river on either side, travelers will find charming towns and villages, as well as bountiful farming communities and vineyards. Hiking and biking trails abound, providing access to many of the beautiful waterfalls found along the Historic Columbia River Highway along the Oregon side of the river. Multnomah Falls is the most spectacular of these waterfalls, and is the second highest year-round waterfall in the nation with a 620 foot drop, second only to Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park in California. The gorge is home to the greatest concentration of waterfalls in North America.
In addition to a number of charming resorts and inns along the river, the Columbia River serves as a wonderful destination experience for river cruising passengers. There are a couple of different lines providing exceptional service for guests, especially during the splendors of the fall season when the foliage is at its peak and the wineries are at their peak of production.
For more information about the Gorge, or to explore the possibility of creating your own vacation memories along the Columbia River Gorge, don’t hesitate to visit my website, or call 855.776.1733.