Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bend and Portland

The next couple of days we spent in Portland, our drive first taking us through the town of Bend and along the south side of Mt. Hood. It's a beautiful drive and Bend is a nice little town to stop and have a sandwich. We went to downtown Bend and ate our lunch at Drake Park, which runs alongside the Deschutes River. Erinn and I were both impressed with Bend, its nice little downtown, beautiful park, and views of the nearby Oregon mountains. Drake Park has a big sloping lawn and a path next to the river with ducks swimming nearby, ready to gobble up your leftovers.

Forest Park, Portland, OR
Portland was a little different though. I have to admit my expectations were a little strange having been influenced partly by friends who lived there and partly by the TV show Portlandia. We were expecting nature, eccentricity, a cool downtown, and a small-town feel with big-city amenities. And while real Portland wasn't that far off, it still didn't click with us like I thought it would.

That being said, Portland has many beautiful parks, most notably Forest Park. It's a huge, 5,000 acre park covered in forest just a few miles from downtown Portland. Well worth a visit and a hike.

Downtown Portland is home to many tasty restaurants, food carts, and Powell's Books, a used and new book store that covers an entire city block.

Stonehenge at The Maryhill
Our favorite part of our Portland experience had to be the waterfalls. Take Hwy 30 East from Portland and about in about half an hour, take exit 28 for Historic Columbia River Highway. You'll come across other beautiful waterfalls and hikes along this route, which runs directly alongside Hwy 30. We stopped at Wahclella Falls, Horsetail Falls, and Multnomah Falls. As usual, none of our pictures captured the beautiful waterfalls or the hikes to them. The Wahclella Falls hike is a good one. Not very long and mostly level with lots of great views along the way. We also went a bit past that and saw the full-size replica of Stonehenge (See Above). A bit random, but interesting.

Next we were off to Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier before stopping to spend time with family in Seattle.

Wahclella Falls
Multnomah Falls

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