The Columbia River Gorge is somewhere that I have wanted to go for a long time. I am a big fan of the show Ariel America. On a recent episode, they featured this region on the Oregon and Washington Border. The sheer volume of magnificent waterfalls in such a small space seemed awesome. The gorge runs along the border of Washington and Oregon and is divided by the Columbia River. I kinda screwed up a little when selecting our campground. I forgot to make a reservation at Ainsworth State Park so we were kinda stuck as far as campgrounds go. We ended up staying at Lewis and Clark Campground which was not bad at all, but also left something to be desired. Most of the campgrounds are on the Oregon side of the river. The problem with most of those is that the highway runs right next to them which kinda kills the vibe. This campground was across the river which was much quieter. However is had a lot of full-time residents which never seems to be a good sign . Our site sucked. We were cramped in next to a full-time resident whose campsite looked like a homeless shelter. However I am not one to judge people based on appearances. My neighbors were named Gary and his wife Mary who worked for a huge nursing home conglomerate. They traveled around the country filling administrator positions when higher level employees quit. They stayed long enough to stabilize the facility and hire replacements and then moved on to the next city. Their camper was a 1979 Winnebago that was probably paid for long ago. When I first pulled in I thought that we had a mobile meth lab next to us, but after a few hours socializing with them, I realized that they had a great life. No expenses other than a cheap campground, and good jobs that enabled them to sock away tons of cash from their jobs. Gary and I talked shit for 3 hours and I really enjoyed his company. Moral of the story is this. Don’t judge a book by it;s cover.
This morning we woke early and drove 13 miles to the Elowha Falls Trailhead This was an amazing waterfall which only required a 2 mile roundtrip hike. The only complaint that I had was like most waterfalls on the gorge, it bordered the highway. Most of the hike you could not escape the road noise which was sort of a buzz kill. It was not until you reached the falls that the rain forest drowned out the noise from the road. However,I highly recommend this easy hike if you are ever in the area,
Later in the day we went to Multnomah Falls which is considered one of our country’s most beautiful waterfalls. Apparently that title seems to attract a lot of people. I mean a lot of people. It literally felt like Disney Land. As my sister in law Dawn likes to say…This place was butts to nuts crowded. I have to admit that the falls were beautiful, but the way they had been commercialized complete with a restaurant, espresso bar and gift shop kinda ruined it for all of us. I would much prefer to hike for a few hours to view a lesser known fall.