Beauty above and along the Columbia River Gorge

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.

Staring up at 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.

The first of many waterfalls along our journey through the gorge

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.

We decided not to fight our way to this too-crowded bridge.

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.

A turk’s cap lily?

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.

A beautiful old bridge

The Columbia River at sunset, as seen from Vista House

Vista House: A 100-year-old building with beautiful stone masonry, stained glass, and a tiled roof

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.

4 thoughts on “Beauty above and along the Columbia River Gorge

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