Subject: Columbia River Gorge area
Hi Ziners,

I just got back yesterday from the Columbia River Gorge area and I thought I'd share some of my "finds". I already wrote about the Museum in the Dalles (or is it just Dalles?), a fantastic regional museum. We visited the spectacular falls, choosing this time to hike into Oneonta Canyon & Falls, a lush narrow canyon hike involving rock and log climbing to get to the falls. My daughter-in-law took a walk straight into Latourell Falls fully dressed just because she loves waterfalls, and most of the spectators enjoyed filming her water moments, including us! We didn't get to hike any part of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, but it looks great.

We loved Bonneville Dam, its really fun to watch the fish ladders from both above and below. They also have a fish hatchery, and power plant tours, plus its completely free.

We found a great little deli in Cascade Locks called Cascade Locks Ice Cream & Deli (541-374-8330, 424 SW WaNaPa St.) and they served my oh-so-finicky family with no problems. We crossed the Bridge of Gods but did not have time to climb Beacon Rock, a giant rock and one of the few sites along the river actually named by Lewis & Clark. I am dying to climb that rock, its supposed to have catwalks and ladders which eventually lead to the top. I have to go back and climb it someday, its on my list!

We followed the "Fruit loop" out of Hood River to some exquisite areas filled with Orchards and Fruit Stands. I must say that The Fruit Company was the best place to buy fruit, I bought the most gorgeous and delicious fruit there (Red and Green Pears, and Fuji Apples) and all of it, regardless of the weight or type was 25 cents a piece. This is Oprah's favorite place to buy fruit, now its mine too. At all the other fruit stands, prices were sky high, and nothing looked as good. Of course, if you don't actually go to the farm, the fruit costs more:

I found Stonehenge in Maryhill Washington, at least a full replica. This is a WWI memorial to local heroes and quite an interesting place to stop to stretch, and maybe grab another piece of fruit since Maryhill is filled with more Orchards and Fruit Stands. Cross from the Oregon side to the Washington side at Biggs to find this treat.

Here is a cool introduction to the Columbia River Gorge area (in PDF) that I printed and used as a travel tool:

Amelia Chatsworth, California