A weekend in the Columbia River Gorge

This past Memorial Day weekend we decided to get the RV out of storage and head to Ainsworth State Park in the Columbia River Gorge.

They have a really nice RV park with full hookup sites spaced far apart but it’s first come, first served so I headed out Thursday afternoon to beat the rush and Kate drove out to meet me Friday after work. We recently got two kittens and thought this would be a good opportunity to get them acquainted with the RV and travel so I brought them along. This was far less traumatic than I thought it would be for both the kittens and us. They understood and used the smaller, temporary litter box like seasoned pros and didn’t get into any outrageous trouble.

Friday morning I took a hike up to Ponytail Falls which is the upper fall of Horsetail Falls. The trail from the campground to the falls meanders through a beautiful, moss covered forest landscape just like the ones I saw in the Oregon entries of the encyclopedia as a child. I didn’t encounter anyone else for miles until I got closer to the falls. Ponytail Falls spills out from the top of a large rock outcropping  into a pool that the trail passes behind.

Ponytail Falls with the trail behind

The stream continues towards the river when it again spills, as Horsetail Falls, out from a cliff top into a pool right next to Scenic Highway 30.

Horsetail Falls

Friday afternoon the RV park filled up just before Kate arrived and the rain began to fall. We spent the evening getting re-acquainted with RV living and playing with the kittens. Saturday morning we headed out to see some of the local sights and got some lunch on the south side of the Bridge of the Gods. After eating we drove across the bridge to Washington State for some sightseeing then headed back to see the Bonneville Fish Hatchery. This place is amazing. It’s a fully functioning fish hatchery that produces millions of fish for local waterways but is also beautifully maintained for and accessible by tourists. You can see the complete production/life cycle of trout, salmon, sturgeon and others. They are also famous for their sturgeon viewing pond where their star Herman lives. Herman is an enormous 70 year old sturgeon. Watch our video here.

After spending quite a while at the hatchery we headed back to camp to build a fire and cook some dinner.

Sunday morning the rain really came down and we decided to beat the crowds and head home. It was a really nice weekend in the forest and we can’t wait to try more new spots this summer. Here are a few more photos we took in Ainsworth State Park.

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One Response to A weekend in the Columbia River Gorge

  1. Margaret Fowler says:

    I used to live in Oregon. It is beautiful country. Your photos made me home sick. Take a look at the Cascades, the Santiam pass and eastern Oregon, too. Margaret

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