Thursday, June 14, 2018

Portland area and Historic Highway 30

Sunday, June 10th, we moved from the Bend area to the Portland area. Instead of crossing the Cascade Range just south of Mt Hood we choose to drive up Highway 97 and pick up I-84 West. That made for a very scenic drive thru the wheat fields of North East Oregon, the Columbia River Gorge, and finally ending at our destination at the Sandy Riverfront RV Park in Troutdale, OR. Troutdale is considered the Gateway to the Historic Highway 30 and the campground is at the now beginning of Highway 30. Originally the highway extended west another 14 miles but modernization and the building of highway systems like I-84 consumed some of the old road. Now one cannot tell where one town ends and the next begins and the Portland metropolitan area looks like one big city to outsiders like us. You do get the sense that the city starts in Troutdale because the area suddenly becomes rural as you cross the Highway 30 bridge over the Sandy River. Bo went to the PetSmart in Gresham yesterday for his grooming appointment and the signage was the only clue that you had left Troutdale and entered Gresham.

The Highway 30 bridge next to the campground is very narrow and built for Model-T Fords. Our GPS always wants to take us across that bridge to reach the campground. That would be ok with a car but our motorhome is over 8 feet wide. Fortunately we had done our research and ignored the GPS and continued down I-84 to the next exit and drove thru Troutdale to the campground.

Bridge to Highway 30 crossing the Sandy River

Looking back from the bridge is the welcome sign to Troutdale and the campground in the background.

What you see when you cross the bridge.

Turning right after crossing the bridge starts your journey on the Historic Highway 30 and in a 1/4 mile you will find Tads's Famous Chicken and Dumplings. A couple who were on the Alaska trip with us in 2016, Rich and Joan, live not far from Troutdale and are showing us around the area. They told us about Tad's so last night we made the 1/4 mile journey and had dinner there.

Tad's Chicken and Dumplings

Pam digging in to the dumplings

About a mile and a half north of the bridge the Sandy River empties into the Columbia River. It was near that location on October 30, 1792 that a boat crew from the H.M.S. Chatham saw the snow covered Mt Hood. They were the first white men to see the mountain and Lt. WM. R. Broughton choose the name Mt Hood in honor of Vice Admiral Samuel Lord Hood of the British Navy. Can you imagine their excitement when they saw the 11,250 foot snow covered peak reaching high up into the blue sky. The Lt called the stream Barings River. In November 1805 Lewis and Clark called it Quicksand River but later by common use it became known as Sandy River.

Mt Hood from Willamette Falls Overlook on I-205. This could be what the crew of the scouting boat saw.

Sandy River looking north from the bridge. Campground is on the left.

Continuing up Highway 30 from Tad;s will take you to Vista House and scenic views of the Columbia River Gorge.
Columbia River Gorge. Vista House on the right center at the top of the canyon wall.

Vista House up ahead on Historic Highway 30

Vista House from Crown Point

I-84 and the Columbia River from Vista House

Further down Hwy 30 is Bridal Veil Falls

A few miles east on Historic Highway 30 from Bridal Veil Falls is the highest waterfall in the state of Oregon, Multnomah Falls. The portion of the falls above the bridge is 542 feet and the section below the bridge is 69 feet.

Multnomah Falls

Portions of Highway 30 were closed due to recent fires. There is a trail to the top of Multnomah Falls that was also closed due to the fires. We struck up a conversation with a young man from Chicago who had made the trip here to hike that trail. Needless to say he was disappointed. 

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