We designated the second day of BroGo, the “Beer and Garden Day.” When I think of roses, I naturally think of the Rose Bowl and Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA. I had no idea that Portland had such a significant rose heritage and a huge rose garden, dating to 1917, where varieties are tested and grand awards given out annually by the Royal Rosarians.
We saw some of the most beautiful…
…and unusual roses, here two different color roses growing on the same bush.
It was overwhelming and the only thing that prompted us to leave was the escalating heat of the day. Leaving there, we ventured over to the Japanese Gardens, just across the parking lot.
The garden was serene and peaceful (and cooler in the shade)…
…and here was also where we got some of our first views of the 50-mile distant Mt. Hood, the 11,000 foot tall volcano, still snow-capped in July.
Then it was off to Wayfinder, an actual German beer garden in downtown Portland for a delicious lunch and a great beer.
Our third garden of the day was the Chinese Garden, which covers an entire city block in downtown.
In spite of occasional intrusions of city noise, the peaceful surroundings make you want to sit and reflect for hours.
One of my favorite features to ponder though was the miniature Bonsai forest on display.
Thankfully, there was enough time left in the day to get in our afternoon beer tasting…
…and dinner at two more brewpubs (if you are keeping count, that is six brewpubs so far in just two days).
Our third day was a planned road trip through the Columbia River Gorge for our “Nature Day.” Running parallel to I-84 that winds along the river, the old historical US 30 route runs along the top of the gorge from which the view from Vista House (dating to 1918)…
…offers stunning views of the gorge.
Besides the astounding views, the route itself is a fun drive with many switchbacks some portions of which have been featured in car commercials.
And all along the road are spectacular waterfalls to see, the first being Latourell Falls…
…and the third being the Bridle Veil which had to be hiked to.
But when we tried to stop at the granddaddy of them all, the 620 foot Multnomah Falls, the I-84 exit was closed due to the parking lot being full. We only caught a quick glance of the falls since we could not stop on the interstate.
A consolation was stopping at the massive Bonneville Lock & Dam…
…where a prominent feature was the fish ladder.
In the under water viewing area of the ladder we could see fish aggressively swimming upstream against the rapid water flow while these unusual suckers (Lamprey) held on for dear life attached to the glass viewing panel.
Towards the end of the Columbia River Gorge, it is amazing to see how rapidly the landscape changes from the lush vegetation of the mountains to the dry desolation of the desert region, in a mere 50-miles.
Our lunch brewpub destination was Full Sail Brewing in Hood River, OR.
After lunch, we headed to our last natural area for the day, Mt. Hood.
Each time we rounded a corner as we drove the 35 miles south from our lunch spot, we kept getting a closer and better view of the snow-capped mountain.
Sitting at an elevation of 6,000 feet is the Timberline Lodge (Overlook Hotel exterior from the movie The Shining). From here, you get your closest perspective of the summit 5,000 feet above you and the mile-high ski lift.
We hiked up to the lower fringes of the snow flow where snow fights were taking place. We were tempted to join in.
That night, we went to a really cool pizza brewpub…
…that was in a reportedly haunted house. Could be, even my selfie looked a bit spooky.
To Be Continued…