Day Two: Walla Walla —> Trout Lake, via WA-14
After the Aviary in Walla Walla, we headed back west to start the main part of the trip along the Columbia River Gorge, which is along the Washington-Oregon border for about 3/4 of the state line.
Between Walla Walla and The Dalles area, 3 hours away, we made only one real stop. It’s pretty much just desert out that way — not much to do — but there is a hike right outside of Pasco, where the river swings up into Washington via a decent sized lake. The hike is around and up to Twin Sisters rocks. Boy, was it windy up there! But it was beautiful. The top row of photos are all of the Twin Sisters Rocks.
After wandering all around, we put ourselves back in the car and continued on our way. We only made one other stop (at a convenience store where I bought a cucumber-lime-chili popsicle that was way SPICY but delicious) as we drove along through windmill country, before really getting into the truly beautiful parts of the Gorge. We moseyed around the Maryhill Museum and Stonehenge Memorial before driving on to The Dalles.
The Dalles is actually on the Oregon side (fun fact: it has the Eastern-most Burgerville, although we didn’t eat there this trip), and by the time you hit this area it’s easy to drive back and forth over the border. From the Dalles, I had originally planned to take the Historic Columbia River Hwy to the Hood River area to go to Panorama Point. We did eventually end up at Panorama Point to watch the sunset, but first we jumped back over to the Washington side to spend all afternoon hiking around a few of the Catherine Creek trails (pictures to be posted soon). Note! If you choose to hike these trails, be aware of ticks. We didn’t end up getting any, but another couple found 5 on their dog.
Then to Panorama Point (pictures to come in another post), then a late dinner in Hood River (I would not recommend the Big Horse Brew Pub, FYI), and a drive in the dark up to Trout Lake, where we stayed the night at the very, very wonderful and affordable Trout Lake Valley Inn. Honestly, I can’t recommend this place more, if you find yourself in the area. The owners are so friendly and they have fresh, made-to-order sweet potato waffles for breakfast each morning. Definitely planning to come back and stay here and hike around the Mt. Adams area and see all the ice caves and lava arches.