The Gorge is Gorgeous

Trip Start Aug 31, 2012
Trip End Sep 10, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Oregon
Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Larry woke me up at 8:45 to say we had better hurry to breakfast which is over at 9:30. When we got there we were the only ones in the place which was very nice.  Most of the people who stayed here last night were workers and off early.  We had waffles and a hard-boiled egg.  Larry had a mini-muffin and I had yogurt.  We were on the road a little after 10:00 headed back to Maryhill to go to the Art Museum.  We stopped at a roadside stand at the end of the bridge on the Washington side and bought a peach for lunch.  We were hoping for cherries but they didn't have any.  We got to Maryhill and parked and walked to the edge of the gorge for the view which was wonderful.  There were some sculptures outside and a large porch on the edge of the cliff overlooking the river.  We went and paid to get in and started our tour.  For an art museum in the middle of nowhere it was wonderful.  This poured concrete home was built by Sam Hill for his wife and daughter, Mary and Mary.  Hence, the name Maryhill.  There were so many kinds of exhibits, quite eclectic.  We started on the second floor with the Sam Hill and Mary Hill Gallery which had memorabilia and paintings and photographs.  There was a room of Orthodox Icons given to the museum  by Queen Marie of Romania who was a special friend of theirs. She also gave a lot of what you would call regalia in the form of furniture, clothing and other things that belonged to her.  There was also a collection of books written by Queen Marie. There was a very small cubby hole of a room with the work of master glassmakers.   There were artifacts of the Native Peoples of North America which took up one whole wing on the ground floor.  There was lower gallery even further down at the end near the river.  The other wing of the ground floor was the Rodin Gallery.  There were bronze sculptures, plaster sculptures and drawings.  It was pretty impressive even after having seen the Rodin Museum in Paris in May.  In a small part of that second wing was a collection of chess sets and gaming pieces.  It was fascinating to seem them from all over the world.  Larry and I took the elevator to the 3rd floor.  They called this exhibit the Theatre de la Mode, Theater of Fashion.  It was small manikins dressed in clothes from the 30s and 40s.  The rotating exhibit was in the process of being changed.  When we finished inside we had lunch at a picnic table outside.  Then we went and looked at the rest of the outdoor sculptures.  There was a horse and a deer welded out of discarded tools and metal parts of things like wrenches, pliers, nuts and bolts, trowels, shovels etc.  It was really well done.  We left Maryhill about 1:00.

We only got about a mile down the road and we pulled into the Maryhill Winery.  We went in and I bought a bottle of Maryhill Moscato.  We bought it chilled and they opened it for us and we sat on the terrace and had a glass. The terrace was roofed with grapevines.  There was a Bocci Court and a huge amphitheater with seating for 4000 people.  Hughie Lewis and the News will be there the 15th of September.   After one glass we put the rest into the cooler for later.

Our next stop was Wishram, a small railroad town with a huge Great Northern Railroad Locomotive on display.  We drove down the bluff on a steep road and through town to the train station.  It is still a station for Amtrak.  We watched the trains in the yard and viewed the locomotive which was really large.  We went back up the steep road and drove further west to Celilo Falls Monument and Viewpoint.  There used to be a great set of rapids and falls here before they built The Dalles Dam.  Now that is all under water.  Lewis and Clark had to portage around the falls when they came through. 

We drove through Dallesport which is across the river from The Dalles.  We drove through Lyle and then stopped at the Chamberlain Lake Viewpoint.  What a view!  It was here that we met a lady from Canada who was pulling a t@b (tab) camper.  It is shaped like a sideways teardrop and had only one axle.  It is very small but had a full kitchen and a table area that folded down into a queen-sized bed.  She showed it to us.  We talked a long time about our travels.  Since she retired she moved to Vancouver Island and lives a couple of hours from Victoria.  She is also a fan of Great Big Sea, a folk band from Newfoundland that we like to go see in concert. 

Bingen was the next town on our trip, we didn’t stop.  A short while later we came to the toll bridge back to Oregon at Hood River.  We decided to go back across.  The toll was only one dollar but the bridge was the kind that had the metal roadbed you could see through to the water.  It was difficult to drive on and we had to go slow because we were wavering so much.  Thank goodness we weren’t pulling a camper.  Once on the other side we pulled off into a parking lot that had public restrooms.  It was right next to the Information Center so we went in.  The ladies there were very helpful by giving us some ideas of what to do on our way back to the Dalles.  They suggested that we go to Mosier and drive the old Rt. 30 Heritage Road.  They also suggested that we try the Fruit Loop and go to Mt. Hood tomorrow.  We plan to do that. 

Old Rt. 30 was great.  Right after we got off at Mosier we saw a hiking trail posted, Mosier Twin Tunnels East.  We parked our car in the shade where it said, No Parking, because there was no one else around.  This was no trail!  It was ten feet wide and paved.  It was actually the old Rt. 30 that had been abandoned because the tunnels were too narrow for modern traffic.  Someone had the bright idea of restoring it into a bike/hiking path.  We walked up and up.  It was pretty hot, over 90, but the breeze and some shady patches made it bearable.  We saw lots of lava rocks on the way up.  We came to the tunnels and the views were amazing.  Across the river we could see the smoke from a fire which got worse and worse as the afternoon wore on.  We saw lots of helicopters and some planes that dropped chemicals on the fire to put it out.  We walked to the end of the tunnels and the path had a roof over it for a long time because of the danger of falling rocks.  We turned around and went back down.  We stopped in Mosier at the Route 30 Classics and Roadside Refreshments and had Mosier Cherry Ice Cream.  Across the road was the Mosier Totem Pole.  From Mosier, population 430, we drove up and up on Route 30 and stopped at the Memaloose Overlook.  It was a great view of Memaloose Island and the smoke from the fire which was following us down the river headed east.  We went up and up some more until we came to the Rowena Crest where we stopped and could see forever up and down the river.  From the crest the road snaked down the bluff and before long we found ourselves back in The Dalles.  We stopped and got bread for sandwiches tomorrow.

 We got back about 6:00.  I called Erin because she had texted earlier that the road to Windy Ridge is closed and we need to talk about the weekend.  When I called she didn’t pick up, so I left a message.  We decided to go to supper at the Baldwin Saloon because we had a 10% off card from the Inn and because it is rated 3rd Best in The Dalles on Trip Advisor.  Erin called back as we were walking.  We sat on a bench outside the Baldwin and decided to do one hike at Mt. St. Helens, to Norway Pass, on Saturday.  Then on Sunday we will do another hike at Mt. Ranier on the way back to Seattle.

We went in to Baldwin’s and had a great supper.  Larry got Ninkasa Oatis Oatmeal Stout and I got a Loco-Rita.  We had salads and homemade bread to start.  Larry’s entrée was barbecued salmon with cauliflower and O’Brien Potatoes.  My entrée was Parmesian Halibut with the same sides as Larry.  Everything was very delicious.  When we left Baldwin’s a train went by so we watched it.  We headed back to the hotel where I blogged, we took showers and went to bed.
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