COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE
We camped along the Columbia River in Portland then drove about 50 miles along the river to camp at Memoloose State Park. The scenery was more interesting but we still had trains running nearby as the river is a good sea level passage across northern Oregon. It proved to be an excellent base to explore Mt. Hood and the Hood River valley.
We were camped just down the mountain from the Historic Columbia River Highway. We were near the Mosier tunnels - a section of the highway closed to cars but open for hiking and biking. You know we had to check that out.
We shared the road with this western rattlesnake. It was perfect snake habitat with lots of rocky nooks for them to hide in. There are lots of rattlesnakes in Oregon (including diamondbacks but this western species is the only indigenous one.) We felt lucky to sight it.
When the going gets rough- you can always "hike a bike".
One day we drove up through the Hood River Valley to hike on the highest mountain in Oregon. We stopped for lunch at the Timberline Lodge. The lodge was a WPA project with very interesting architectural touches.
After lunch we enjoyed a hike along the Timberline trail which is a short section of the MUCH longer Pacific Crest trail.