Portland & Columbia River Gorge

We had a great breakfast served by Dustin’s Great Aunt Shirley, we enjoyed breakfast with them before they headed off to church, and we headed into Portland.

We walked around downtown for awhile and then headed to the Pearl District for lunch.  We found a Fusion restaurant called Isabel’s.   The lettuce wraps were awesome!  Afterwards I got some tea at this cute tea cafe and lounge.

Our last stop downtown was the Powell’s Books, this is the the biggest independent bookstore in the world. It takes up a whole city block!  Dustin headed for the business and tech section and the rest of us checked out the Paleo/Low-carb cook books!

A section at Powell Books
A section at Powell’s Books

We settled into our riverside cabin, across the river in Vancover, WA.  Sarah and I made a menu for the rest of our time with a kitchen and then we all went grocery shopping.  We found a store similar to Whole Foods called New Season’s Market , it was awesome!  They certainly live up to their tag line, the friendliest store in town!  The produce guy sliced us some fresh organic peaches to try while we were shopping. They even had farm fresh organic strawberries, which were AMAZING!

After shopping we made a Hartzler Family favorite for dinner, Sautéed Red Cabbage and Salmon from the Balanced Bites website!  The cabin we stayed in had fresh rosemary growing in a pot on the porch, which made it ever more awesome.

Another awesome dinner by the Hartzler-Rodewald Team!
Another awesome dinner by the Hartzler-Rodewald Team!


The next day we explored the Columbia River Gorge. Our first stop was Wahkeena Falls. They were seen from just a short walk up the hill.

Dustin and I at the base of Wakeena Falls
Dustin and I at the base of Wahkeena Falls

Then we headed to one of the most well known falls, Multnomah Falls which is over 600 feet between the upper and lower falls.  It was hard to get them all in one picture and slow down the shutter speed, so our best shots are just a portion of the falls. The best time to take pictures is on overcast days or during sunrise or sunset.

A little too much light...but shows the whole waterfall!
A little too much light…but shows the whole waterfall!


Bottom Half of the Falls
Bottom Half of Multnomah Falls

The last falls we stopped at were Horsetail Falls which were also beautiful. Sarah and Josh headed off on a hike, Dustin and I decided to relax on a bench while they were away.  It was very peaceful listening to a past sermon I missed at church gazing at one of God’s beautiful creations and hearing the sounds of the falls.  The temperature was perfect too!

Horsetail Falls
Horsetail Falls



Horsetail Falls (up close)
Horsetail Falls (up close)

We drove to the town of Hood River before turning around.  We ate our lunch while watching windsurfers and kite surfers on the Columbia River.  There were at least 30 people out on the water including a few kids.

A kid wind surfing!
A kid wind surfing!


On our way back to our cabin, we stopped at Cascade Locks.  Construction began on the locks in 1878 but they were later replaced by the Bonneville Lock and Dam in 1938.  Here we had a good view of the Bridge of gods, this toll bridge is the only bridge between Portland and Hood River.

Columbia River & Toll Bridge
Columbia River & Toll Bridge

We headed back to our cabin to get freshened up for dinner.  Josh and Sarah went out to dinner for their anniversary in downtown Vancouver and we headed off to a Hartzler family vacation favorite, Sweet Tomatoes.  We picked them up and then we all headed back into Oregon for the last time to meet with a friend from Cedarville, Bethany. Bethany is a CU nursing student that was on our Jamaica team this year and is from the Portland area.  We met her at Starbucks and enjoyed time of fellowship.

That wraps up our Portland area experience.  Next stop Mt. Rainer/Packwood, WA!

2 thoughts on “Portland & Columbia River Gorge

  1. I’m so glad that Portland treated you so well. We loved it there and look forward to moving there. Since my wife is a vegan, it was refreshing to have such a great food scene, especially one that caters to vegans so well! Enjoy Washington!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! We enjoyed walking around the city. Too bad we didn’t have more time there. Next time we’ll plan better!

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