Part of the reason for staying the extra day was to be able to drive through the Historic Columbia River Highway. Wow. I am so glad we did. There are a handful of times in my life that I can remember as almost speechless times of awe because the beauty I was witnessing. This was one of them. All along this highway there where pull outs and places to take in the view. This was our first stop to see the Columbia river from above.
Oh, and I guess I'd better preface all this by saying the kids weren't thrilled with our sight seeing adventure on the way home. Will was tired and not so much into it, Autumn did her usual complaints about not wanting to go, and then there was Russell. First of all, he was NOT happy that we took an extra day to get home. Then he planted himself in the back seat and was determined not to get out of the car till we were in Kuna. (his words) The first falls we stopped at we just left him in the car. After walking back up I even offered to wait if he wanted to go see the awesomeness we just viewed. nope. Then at multnomah falls, I insisted he get out and come with us. Nope. He said - "why should I get out? there's nothing GREAT about here" I wanted to just shake his teenage angst right out of him. I dismissed it and we left him in the car to wait for his ride home. It saddened me that he missed seeing this, but I was NOT going to let that ruin my experience of it.
We continued on and the drive just became more and more gorgeous. It almost felt like we were traveling into another time.
EVERY tree was covered in thick green moss and ferns growing straight out of the moss. I'd never seen anything like it.
Then the Vista house came into view so we decided to take a looksie. The info that I found on the house was that it was built as a tribute to the pioneers who traveled the Oregon Trail to settle the Oregon Country and the Columbia River Gorge. Tim says that the folks inside said it was built so people driving this road had access to a bathroom. That's good, cuz I used it! The building really was stunning from the outside circular shape of it , to the light pouring in from the windows on the huge dome.
Here's the view of the river from the Vista house parking lot.
Throughout the drive we spotted countless mini waterfalls seeming to come out of nowhere. Just thin streams of water pouring out of the rocks. But then we caught sight of one that seemed to be more than a thin stream. Latourall Falls. One of the things that made this whole experience amazing was that we had no idea what we were looking for or what to expect (at least I didn't).
So we jumped out of the car to get a closer look and discovered a trail leading down. It was only a few minute walk but as we got further down we realized just how close to the waterfall we were going to get.
The closer we got, the more powerful and majestic it felt. We were RIGHT there getting sprayed by the water.
There was one other couple with a baby ahead of us and they happily agreed to exchange picture taking with us. I LOVE this one, I want to frame it.
Tim decided on an even closer look. Autumn told on him - "MOM! dad's doing something dangerous!"
We headed back up the trail. I just couldn't get over the beauty of the area.
Multnomah Falls was not much further down the road. I guess everyone just skips over the tiny falls and heads to this one. Because the parking lot was packed and there were people gathering around like they were headed to a mall.
If the other waterfall seemed big then this one was giant! Even more powerful and demanding of attention. Just amazing.
Tim wanted to get to the bridge so we hiked up the path.
Here we are on the bridge. Will wasn't impressed. He was cold and wet. See Snoopy? Nearly every person we passed either commented on him or stopped to pet. And there were quite a few people. That furball gets so much attention!
Tim wanted to go even FURTHER, so we stayed on the bridge while he checked it out. No sense in pushing our luck, cuz luck running out means Will gets carried all the way back down. See us real tiny in the middle right of the bridge?
And a last good shot that Tim got from above the bridge. You can get all the way to the top, but with the kids we decided we had gone far enough.
Utterly amazing - have I said that yet?? We got back to the car, situated ourselves and headed home. Here's a LINK I found with more info on the area. Tim and I have vowed to go back by ourselves so that we can spend a couple days stopping where ever we want, hiking as far as we want, and taking as much time as we want to really explore the area. I can't WAIT!