A weekend in the Columbia River gorge

Monday, August 15, 2011

After a wonderful experience camping in a national forest service site last weekend, we decided to try an Oregon State Park this time. We chose Memaloose Park because it is only an hour from home and there was one site left available. It wasn’t a prime site – in fact it backed to interstate I-84 but we decided it would be fine and allow us the experience of using the state park system which we’ve heard great things about.

Memaloose State Park

We left the cloudy skies of Portland behind and as soon as we drove through the tunnel at the Bridge of the Gods we found sunshine….and wind….lots of it! It was a bit unnerving pulling the trailer down the gorge facing those winds at first, but Todd soon gained confidence and settled in.

We checked in early at Memaloose and set up camp…actually just parked the Bambi. It was altogether too windy to put out chairs or pull down the awning. Our first impression of the park was that it was a pretty little oasis in the Gorge. Although our site was located near the interstate, the noise was tempered by the sound of the wind through the willow and cotton wood trees.  Compared to the forest service sites, the sites at this park were much smaller and less private, although they did provide complete hook-ups. The bathrooms and showers were also very nice and clean.

After setting up camp we left to explore Hood River for a few hours. We drove the old historic highway up to Rowena Crest and back through Hood River. It was a spectacular drive. Sometimes we take for granted how scenic Oregon is. We met a woman traveling alone from Minnesota. She had driven to California with her daughter and was driving back home by herself. She was really overwhelmed by Oregon’s scenic beauty – in fact it had taken her eleven days to make it from the California border to Hood River because she decided to stop at every view point and just take it in.

Columbia River Gorge

Hood River

Old Highway through Moiser and Rowena

After a pretty afternoon of exploring the Gorge, we were excited to return to camp for dinner. We had bought a couple of bacon wrapped filets that we were going to have for dinner. Todd had a heck of a time keeping the bbq hot enough to cook the steaks due to the ever howling wind, but in the end, they turned out great…a perfect end to a fun day!

Ready for the BBQ

Todd trying to bbq despite the crazy wind!