In last week’s post, I took you on a tour of Portland’s International Rose Test Garden. This week, I’m inviting you along for a trip to Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge, a short drive outside of Portland.
As I write this, California’s Central Valley is facing yet another day of brutal, record-breaking heat. I can hardly believe that just two weekends ago, I was standing at the foot of snow-covered Mt. Hood.
If I could teleport myself there now, I would lie in the snow and make snow angels.
The Columbia River Gorge is a place of spectacular beauty, and a historic highway runs along a route of waterfalls rushing down to the river. I am grateful for such a place, so easy for so many people to access and enjoy.
It was late Sunday afternoon when my husband and I drove along through here. The beauty we saw brought balm, restoration, calm—even among the throng of other tourists.
What is it about the roar of rushing water that quiets the soul? Does it drown out sorrows and cares with its majesty and power? Does the waterfall contain an ego that demands total attention?
We stared up to the heavens that afternoon, but smaller beauties begged a moment of our time down below, too.
It wasn’t just the natural world that captured my attention. I loved all the old architecture of moss-covered bridges and lookout points, built a century ago, when perhaps we had more pride in the care and crafting of public spaces and places than we do now.
If you ever have an opportunity to journey along the gorge, take it. Stop at the waterfalls. Admire the wildflowers. Notice the artistry of the old manmade places. Drink in a beautiful sunset over the river.
You may come away feeling a little bit closer to heaven.