A week at Promontory Park and the Clackamas River

It’s hard to believe I’ve been here at Promontory Park a week already. This is when my friends Lee and Tracy are working this summer. You can check out their blog here.  The park is located just outside of Estacada, Oregon on the Clackamas River. The park is managed by PGE (Portland General Electric). It has a lot of cabins and Yome’s that you can rent the along with a bunch of nice campsites. It’s been crazy busy week visiting with old and new friends and taking in a bunch of waterfalls and mountains. I arrived here on Friday, July 7 and got settled in. It’s a nice campground right on the reservoir. Here’s a couple photos I took down by the marina they have. Maxine is really been loving swimming in the lake I think she likes freshwater better than saltwater. 20170712_09254920170712_092604The first thing on Saturday, I went to visit my new friend Joanne (who I met while working at Heceta Head in May) she is working at Silver Falls State Park the next two months. She’s a super nice sweet lady and going to visit the park gave me an excuse to see her again and reconnect. Here’s a photo that she gave me of her and one of her dog Mia.

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She will be working as an interpretive host at the Lodge and other locations through the park. She was busy working the day I showed up but we get together after work and spend some quality time visiting and catching up. But in the meantime Maxine and I did some hiking and took in a couple of the waterfalls at the park. The park has 10 beautiful water falls, but unfortunately Maxine wasn’t allowed on some of the trails so we could only see a couple from up on the ridge where she was allowed. Here’s a photo of the most photographed one the South Falls (it’s 177 foot tall).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Here’s a photo from the backside of this falls that Joanne sent me.20170706_144507_resized

And here’s a couple of the North Falls (it drops 136 feet).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The park I’m at is right next to Mount Hood National Forest. As you drive along you get many glimpses of the beautiful snow-covered mountain.20170711_102423 On Monday I took about a two hour drive, up to Winlock, Washington. This is where Cardinal Glass Industries built a float glass plant like the one I worked at in Portage WisconsinA bunch of my coworkers and former Portage employees, moved out here about 10 years ago. And have kept in touch with some of them over the years and just had to come visit for a day. I got together with several of them for lunch and then went back to the plant to visit with more of them.together we’ve made plans to meet up with even more people on Saturday, July 22, and have a cookout. So I’m really excited about this. The plan is next week Friday the 21st I will head back that way and spend a couple nights before I start heading back to Wisconsin.

When I got here Tracy told me to set aside Tuesday the spend the day with her exploring what’s called the Fruit Loop. The Fruit Loop is approximately 35 miles of orchards, forest, farmlands and friendly communities to explore, (according to their pamphlet). So we jumped in the car and took off to explore. Here’s a photo Tracy took of me after a day of being her chauffeur. We sure had a great time. 19989647_10203377098465043_5452762788117010372_n[1]

We made several stops along the way and here’s one of Tracy standing next to the Oregon Trail.20031571_10203377105825227_1557550461310090989_n[1] We also made another stop at Trillium Lake and got a beautiful photo of the lake with Mound Hood in the background. The views are priceless. 20170711_105542

We drove along taking in the beautiful scenery and stopped at several orchards and a couple wineries. Here’s a great shot of Mount Adams.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA And stop for a great lunch at a Swedish restaurant we found in the town of Hood River. I’m sure she’ll be writing more about this in her journal so go check it out here. It was great day and thanks to Lee for letting her spend time with me. He said he was going enjoy the quiet time. On our way back we came along the Columbia River Gorge and Tracy pointed out a bunch of things to see along the way. So I made plans to come back on Thursday and check out some of the waterfalls and other things in the area. So I got up early Thursday and Maxine and I headed out to check out the Historical Columbia River Highway. The first place we headed was to Larch Mountain Road, to drive up to Sherrard’s Viewpoint. You claim to an elevation of 4055 feet. On a clear day you can see five and incredible mountain views. Mount Saint Helens, Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson. We drove the 14 miles up to the top of the viewpoint and sadly it was all fogged in, you could barely see 100 yards from the lookout. But it did clear off later in the day and on my way back I took another crack at it and did get a couple good photos of Mount Hood.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These photos are in the direction of where the other mountain should be, but as you can see it was still too cloudy.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA From there it was back to Highway 30 to check out the famous Vista House (on Crown Point) and several waterfalls. What Vista Point is beautiful stone building built as a rest area along the scenic highway. Here you can see it off in the distance high on the hill.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Here’s a close-up of it.20170713_105157 A photo from the inside.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA And one from the balcony looking at my car parked below.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA There are a lot of falls that you can hike to, but I only managed to take in three this trip because it got crazy busy in the afternoon. The first one was Latourell Falls.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I really like the volcanic rocks on the hillside that make up the falls.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Then it was off to Bridal Veil Falls. It was about a half mile hike to get to but well worth it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Maxine really like these because I let her get the water below the falls.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The last falls I took in for the day were Wahkeena Falls.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA There are another half dozen or so falls in the area but I got tired of fighting the crowds and so we headed back to camp just to take it easy. So as you can tell I’ve been quite busy this week and this only covers the highlights. Maxine’s has been swimming most days and I did laundry one day. Also I made dinner for Lee and Tracy on Wednesday, we had a nice evening together. They have got a crazy busy schedule and work about 40 hours each a week. And the plan all along was that they would not be able to do much with because of their schedule. This weekend I plan on going down to see my new friends Jim and Diana at Prineville Reservoir State Park. The park is about hundred and 50 miles from here on the east side of the Cascade Mountains, where it is much hotter and drier. So there’ll be more to come as my time comes to an end on the West Coast. That’s it for now safe travels to all, Rick

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