I didn’t arrive at tonight’s destination (Hood River, OR) until 6:30 for two reasons; 1) I was late leaving Gresham this morning, and 2) this place is just too beautiful and interesting to rush. I did about seven miles of climbing to start off the day before I saw this sign on historic Route 30 just east of Corbett, Oregon;

About a hundred years ago they decided they needed an auto road along the Columbia River. The engineers had a challenge and they rose to it. Much of the original road was bulldozed when they built the modern highway. But before then the citizens of Portland would travel this route for the views, picnic in an “auto-park”, and then drive home to see it all from the opposite direction. This is the Vista House near the beginning of my eastward descent;

20120530-222833.jpg The Vista House is perched on a rocky point and the viaduct supported road does a cork screw around it. It offers sweeping views of the river.

The road plunged downward with a surprise around every corner. The tunnel on the left is from the original road.

Then the waterfalls started and they just kept coming. I stopped at every one and took photos. I would see the same tourists at each water fall and I would joke with them that I was never going to finish my ride before dark. This is Multnomah Falls;

It was getting late. My route had me alternating between bucolic bike path and limited access interstate highway. Some of the bike path was the original Route 30 roadway, now overgrown. This area of the Columbia River is known as the Gorge, and as that implies, it is narrow. At spots there is not enough room for both roads and the only way through is the interstate. My last 9 miles into Hood River was on I-84. I encountered these stairs on a bike path (?) and it was a head-scratching, laugh-out-loud, and drop a few cuss words moment.