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I’d driven past Baker City in northeastern Oregon a number of times before finally visiting it — twice — in one year. One visit was a relatively quick one, just driving through to see the historic district while on a road-trip. For our second visit it was our destination for viewing the 2017 Solar Ellipse as it was in the path of totality.
Baker City is relatively small, with around 10,000 residents. The community lay along the famous Oregon Trail and really took hold after the railroad came through. By 1900 it was the largest city between Salt Lake City and Portland. It rests between the picturesque Wallowa and Elkhorn Mountain and the setting is quite pretty. The city …
I’d only seen one prior solar eclipse in my life and that was long ago when I was a university student. That one occurred on a cold winter day in February 1979, in my home city of Winnipeg, Manitoba. So when I heard of the proximity of the American solar eclipse of 2017, I knew it was definitely time to view another.
There’s no question that this week’s eclipse was a popular event and thousands of people planned on visiting the areas of totality well in advance. In fact, I couldn’t find a hotel room for less than $1000/night (which I refuse to pay) within the thousand mile stretch across the Northwestern USA that was of interest to me when I …
One of the most scenic road trips anywhere in the world is on the Oregon side of the Gorge, on the Columbia River Highway (I-84), between Portland and the Dalles. Besides a smooth drive on the freeway, an excellent diversion here is to head up the old Historic Columbia River Highway, a narrow road that twists its way through the mountains and cliffs, past dozens of waterfalls, including the beautiful 620-foot (190 m) Multnomah Falls.
The Columbia River is one of North America’s longest, at 1200 miles (1930 km) long, starting in southeastern British Columbia, Canada. The Columbia River Gorge was carved by glacial floods (especially the Missoula Flood) thousands of years ago and is the only sea-level passage through the Cascade Mountain range. …
One of the most dramatic road trips one can make in the United States is through the Columbia River Gorge. The Columbia River, the mightest river in the American West, originates in British Columbia but near its entry to the Pacific serves as a dividing line between Washington and Oregon State. This historic river route was traveled by the Lewis and Clark expedition over 200 years ago. The drive along the Gorge just to the east of Portland is breathtaking!
A favorite stopping point along the way on the Oregon side is Vista House, constructed on the Crown Point Promontory. Once called “Thor’s Heights,” Crown Point is a basalt rock formation created by volcanic lava and sculpted by the elements. …
One of the great drives in America is through the Columbia River Gorge west of Portland. There are lush green mountains, steep cliffs and numerous (77) waterfalls to enjoy. Of these many waterfalls, Multnomah Falls is the grandest of the them all.
Multnomah Falls drops 620 ft (189 m) in two steps, and is a popular destination. Only three waterfalls in the USA are higher, and none are in a more lovely setting. A trail from Multnomah Falls Lodge takes you across the arched Simon Benson Bridge (1914) over the shorter lower cascade, then the trail switchbacks up towards the top of the upper cascade.
It’s a beautiful, misty place. Hard to keep the lens dry but that didn’t stop me from …
One of the finest Japanese Gardens in North America — perhaps the best anywhere outside Japan — is found in Portland, Oregon, in the hills near downtown. Covering five and a half acres of Washington Park, it’s a setting of calm and tranquility, as all Japanese gardens are.
I’m always been inspired by the asymmetric balance and harmony of these gardens. The methodical selection, placement and pruning of trees and bushes, the blending of colors, the judicious use of water and stone make me want to do better in my own yard (though somehow I always fail with this). It’s a great place to go for a slow relaxing walk. The garden is open throughout the year and its character changes with the …
I can enjoy a visit to a large city as much as anyone — seeing the Eiffel Tower, Sistine Chapel, Buckingham Palace or Statue of Liberty are as exciting and fun for me as for any traveler. But overall I’m more relaxed and comfortable, and derive greater pleasure from visiting smaller cities and towns than I do a huge metropolis. Such places are easier to get around in and lend themselves well to exploration on foot. They often have quality attractions not as well known or as busy as those in larger cities.
Such — sort of anyway — is the case of Portland, on the lush green banks of the Willamette River where it joins the mighty Columbia River …
Portland, Oregon, is one of our favorite destinations for a weekend getaway. It is not a large city, but big enough for our tastes and is beautiful and vibrant.
Portland has a highly functional Metro, and its easy and cheap (just over $2) to get into the heart of the city directly from PDX airport. The airport is modern and very functional, and highlights Oregon’s fine restaurants and shops; if you have to linger here for a few hours you can easily spend the time windowshopping or enjoying a coffee and pastry.
There are a great assortment of accomodations in the city, including a variety of quaint older hotels. In Portland we generally stay at the downtown Marriott, which we prefer because of its central location, access to the …