Day 4: Skamania Lodge —> Portland, via I-84, and then home to Seattle
SummaryDay 1AviaryDay 2Catherine Creek & more, Day 3, Oneonta Gorge Hike

Last Day! We woke up at 5:45 to go down to the soaking tub when it opened at 6am and watch the sun rise over the Gorge. Probably the best way to spend a morning. Then after a short cat nap, we packed up and went downstairs to use our $30 breakfast credit. I had a fresh salmon hash, which was fantastic.

It was hard to leave Skamania Lodge. The day was beautiful and I spent a good hour lounging around in the lobby looking out those big windows, and out in the back field. One of the pictures above is of an elderly couple who occupied those great seats in front of the windows for hours both the night before and in the morning, sitting quietly and reading the entire time.

When I finally pulled myself away from the view, we headed out to our last hike of the weekend, Beacon Rock. The rock stands alone, away from other parts of the Gorge, and is one of the highest points in the area on the Washington side. It’s the core of a very old volcano and the trail is a well-maintained pavement & railing system up around 3 sides of the rock and then up to the top. It’s a quick, fairly easy hike that’s only 2 miles round trip.

We had originally planned to go from here back to Portland on the Washington side, along WA-14, but Thomas was set on seeing the Crown Point Vista House, which you can see from I-84, sitting majestically waaaaay up on the hill. I’d never been, so we headed back to the Oregon side, past Multnomah Falls (we didn’t stop there, as I’ve been a thousand times, but if you haven’t, I highly recommend it), and up to the vista.

It was a great view (pictures in a separate post), and I’m glad we went, although it’s kind of a quick stop because the house itself isn’t all that interesting. 

We took the 84 back toward Portland and I made a split-second decision to jump off the highway and visit McMenamin’s Edgefield, which I love. It’s an old Poor Farm converted to a hotel, several restaurants, many bars, a brewery, winery & distillery, plus it has a golf course, concert venue, spa and soaking pool, glass blowing room, ice creamery and more. Yea, this place is incredible, and beautiful. 

We killed time sipping Monkey Puzzle, and ended up running into one of Thomas’ old friends who lives in NYC now (weird, huh?). A leisurely stroll around the grounds was also something we managed to fit into the day. 

From there, we headed straight for Alberta Street in NE Portland. It was still a couple hours from dinner, so we wandered around and determinedly spoiled our dinner with a scoop of luscious ice cream at Salt & Straw. Then we headed for Killingsworth a couple blocks up and ate at Podnah’s Pit BBQ. The food was delicious, the drinks were perfect, and the service was fantastic — you must visit the next time you’re in the Portland area.

Then we made the 3 hour trek back home, and that was that. Pretty amazing weekend, taking in the sites and managing to get 15 miles of hiking in while still feeling pampered and vacation-y. And you really just can’t beat the landscape. We took 1500 photos over 4 days, so I’m sure there will be many more to look at over the next few weeks.

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