We drove from Portland to Boise (about 435 miles) yesterday and drove back to Portland today. My favorite section of that drive is through the Columbia Gorge, which is beautiful in every season. Yesterday the weather was good and the drive was spectacular and I kept wishing my camera was up front with me instead of in the suitcase in the back of the car. I finally got it out when we stopped at the the Starvation Creek (I love that name—you can read how it got the name here) trailhead. The yellow leaves were glowing with their own light, it seemed.
Today, driving home, the gorge was misty, then rainy. I had my camera up front and decided to try to capture the gorge in the rain.
The highway runs alongside the railroad tracks on the Oregon side of the Columbia. Dramatic cliffs define the gorge on both the Oregon and Washington sides. In some places the railroad tracks are actually elevated above the water of the river. Mist drifts down the sides of the rock walls and waterfalls spring from the rock. It is a landscape like no other. On clearer days heading west, you see layer upon layer of mountains down the vast expanse of the great river. You can almost imagine the Lewis and Clark party making their way along this same route toward the waiting Pacific Ocean.
The closer we got to Portland, the harder the rain came down, until we found ourselves approaching downtown in pouring rain and rush hour traffic.
And the reason we went to Boise, then turned right around and came home? We went to see the Rolling Stones in concert last night! Mick was agile and amazing and all energy. Keith was charming and bemused and, as he said, "Happy to be here—happy to be anywhere!" The band was great. The lights and spectacle made one's heart pound. The music was everything we hoped for. Sigh . . . . .