If you are heading to Portland, Oregon, and have a free day, rent a car and head out east to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area. My preference is to head up I-5 and cross the Columbia River into Vancouver, Washington, and head east along Route 14. Along the way into the Gorge, you will see (and smell) a huge paper-mill in Camas, the turn-off that takes you up the Washougal River valley before entering the Gorge proper. Make a stop along the way at the Columbia River Interpretive Center, then stop at the Skamania Lodge for lunch (and a dip in their hot pools if you have your swim trunks) before pushing on past the old towns of Stevenson and White Salmon, just across the Columbia from Hood River. IF it is a nice and breezy day, these are the best spots to watch the wind surfers and kite-boarders race across the river. At this point, you can detour up the White Salmon river to the north and either do/watch white water rafteing and kayakers or head up to scenic Trout Lake and hike around the less-visited Mt. Adams, or cross over the Columbia into Hood River and visit the many pubs and shops that line the main street there. Heading back west to Portland now on the Oregon side, you may choose to stop at Multnomah Falls, or Bridal Veil Falls, or the Bonneville Dam, or the Bonneville Fish Hatchery (great spot for a picnic) or up to the Crown Point Observation Point to take the whole Northwest vista into view.
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