I'm not quite ready to admit that summer is over. But it's the Pacific Northwest, and the weather outside is sure to remind me. On the first official day of fall, though as scheduled, the rain began to fall.
Don't get me wrong, I love fall. It is, without question my favorite time of year. The colors are the best. The oranges and yellows and browns. I could live in the colors of the autumn season forever. But living in Oregon, I also know that when we start to transition into rain, we might not be coming back out for awhile.
This year has been kind of different than usual- the summer weather has lasted much longer. And after the rain started and stayed for a few days last week, I was surprised to see a temporary shift back to the gorgeous sunny and crisp. This last weekend some friends and I had planned a trip out on the Columbia River out of Portland. We talked more about how we'd likely be canceled out by rain than about the trip itself. But as of Saturday afternoon, the weather forecast looked promising, so we decided to risk it. If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that it turns out pretty great.
Sunday morning we left Eugene over an hour before sunrise. This scene greeted us on the drive North on I-5. Kind of makes me want to get up early every day.
We only stopped for coffee, and once we got up to Portland, it didn't take us too long to get going out of the marina...
And as we headed out of the marina and headed east on the river, the air was cold, and the sky remained gray for quite a ways. There were so many fishing boats out- the salmon fishing this year is apparently pretty great. And I found myself wishing I knew how to fish.
The sun would occasionally peek through, but it seemed we had left the slivers of blue sky behind us in Portland as we headed towards Cascade Locks.
But ever so slowly, the fog started to lift...
And, as I often do when I travel Oregon, I find myself gasping at the insanely beautiful landscape that I live in. This is the state that I get to call home. The Columbia Gorge is truely one of the most breath-taking places I've ever been. And it's only 2 hours away from me?!
And then this. I mean, seriously. I cannot get enough of this picture. Which, by the way, was just an iphone photo. It was still a little cool out, but the sun was shining, and it was a fantastic day.
What you don't see in this picture, is the boat we were in...as we had pulled it to a dock about 5 miles west of the Bonneville Dam because there was a problem with the alternator. But it didn't even matter. We could have been "stranded" on that dock all day and I would have been just fine. It felt so good to step away from the long to-do list that was waiting for me to experience something new and to soak in life on a Sunday afternoon. My friend was able to get the alternator back together and after a little cheering and a couple of high-fives we mosied back towards Portland.
There is a particular magic in finding adventure in new places. I have been out on commercial boats on the Columbia- although never through the Gorge. I have driven the highways on both the Oregon and the Washington sides of this stretch between Portland to Hood River and over the Bridge of the Gods into Washington and back down the river to Vancouver. But never in the Gorge. I've been to a lot of the falls along the historic hwy 30 through to Multnomah falls. But never viewed the falls from a boat in the Gorge. And I'm hooked. I can't wait to do it again. I can't wait to make plans for next year. And we're not going to wait for the last possible weekend of the year!
After we called a slighlty premature end to the trip (to not try our luck with the boat alternator), we decided to grab some lunch before heading back. The hilarity that ensued after lunch involved coming back to the car and discovering that the car would not start. Something about us 3 and internal combustion engines were apparently not a good mix on Sunday! It's all a part of the adventure- and only made for a better story. A tow truck and car swap later, we were back on the road. We talked and we laughed...and we laughed some more. Fresh air and laughter- I'm pretty sure there is nothing better for the soul.
And just before we made it back to town, we watched the sun go down over the Interstate. Such an incredible day....from sunrise to sunset.
Where have you traveled recently? Are you getting a couple more solid summer days before fall really strikes?