When someone comes in from out of town, particularly if they haven't been out for a long time, it's good to take in some sights. My thoughts tend to run to the beach, Mt. Hood, Timberline, the Gorge…places that will put beautiful pictures in someone's mind, places that will give them not only a sense of how physically incredible our corner of the country is, but also the sensations of the place—the smells, sounds and tastes of the Northwest.
Double Mountain Brewing.
Which allowed us the opportunity to take the old Columbia River Highway and stop at Vista House, a must-see for tourists but one I've avoided for just that reason. Though when we arrived, lo and behold the old viewpoint house, which had been shuttered and closed for many decades, was open and had been beautifully restored. Even the upper balcony that circumnavigates the building was open, allowing a view that is still one of the most breathtaking in all of Oregon (video, top).
After a stop at Multnomah Falls and lunch in Hood River, we headed across the river and drove down the Washington side to Stevenson, parasailors skidding across the sparkling water. Pulling over to experience the full force of the Gorge winds, we saw that a new kinetic sculpture, called Galaxy, had been installed at the city's waterfront park.
Crossing back to Oregon over the spectacular Bridge of the Gods, happy we'd decided to take another look at some old favorites and discovering there were new things to learn about them!