This week we are visiting the Historic Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area located about 30 minutes east of Portland, Oregon. The route follows the Columbia River which originates in the Canadian Rockies and eventually winds its way south creating a dramatic border between Washington and Oregon as it flows to the Pacific Ocean. This is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise and there’s something for every ability. On the Oregon side, you can access many amazing natural sites along Highway 84, formerly part of the Oregon Trail. Alternately, you can approach these sites and other famous landmarks from the Washington side of the river using State Route 14, the Lewis and Clark Memorial Highway. We chose to do both.
Traveling two hours north from home to Portland, we made the requisite breakfast stop for a taste of France at La Provence in the tony city of Lake Oswego. This was an event in and of itself — the first time we had been out for a restaurant meal in 16 months! What a treat it was!! Afterwards we picked up a delicious seeded loaf of bread and some U-Bake almond croissants from their bakery for our vacation pantry then headed northeast to our destination.
Continuing on our journey, we soon crossed over the mighty Columbia turning east into Washington. So much beautiful scenery once we hit the heart of Lewis & Clark territory! It was a joy just to be out and about after such a long time at home. We took in our first view of the Columbia Gorge at Cape Horn… breathtaking, of course!
Eventually, we arrived at Shellrock Cabin, our home for the next three days. This newly built cabin is one of two identical 400 sq. ft. vacation dwellings situated atop a hill above the small community of Stevenson, Washington.
Fronted by a huge rolling lawn leading your eye to the Columbia, the cabin is modern and tastefully decorated. Though small, it is perfectly designed and organized for a comfortable stay. The compact, efficient full kitchen totally worked for the preparation of our breakfasts, snacks, and evening meals which we prefer to constantly eating out — healthier, more relaxing, and certainly more economical. To top it all off, the cabin’s inviting covered deck boasts its own private view of the Gorge.
As the first afternoon progressed, ever-changing clouds provided visual entertainment and photographic inspiration for the evening which was capped off by a full moon.
After a bowl of my homemade French Cassoulet accompanied by a delicious glass or two of red wine, it was time to hit the hay and prepare for the adventures of Day 2.