The consensus of the group was to meet for breakfast at 7 AM so that we could sleep a little later. After breakfast, we drove to Multnomah Falls, the 2nd highest waterfall in the continental U.S. We hiked up to the observation bridge, which provided a spectacular view of the upper falls.
We were ahead of schedule and decided to drive along the historic Columbia River Gorge Road to Crown Point, a scenic lookout of the gorge below. The last time I visited Crown Point, the wind was 50+ mph. The wind actually moved my car while in park.
Our next stop was Waterfront Bikes in Portland where we rented three bikes and a rack in preparation for our ride on the Springwater Corridor Trail. Ed graciously agreed to shuttle us to the Hogan Road Trailhead, which is located about 2 miles from the eastern end of the trail.
Ron decided to start toward Portland while Joyce and I headed east to satisfy our compulsive need to ride the whole trail. We figured that we usually ride about 2 mph faster than Ron and that we would catch up to him about halfway back to Portland. Ron must have been riding faster than normal today because we did not catch him until we were only 6.5 miles from the end of the trail. If he would not have missed the detour turnoff, we probably would not have caught up to him at all. I’ll let Joyce describe Ron’s off trail journey.
View of Willamette River
For the most part, the trail was pretty boring. There were blackberries galore and several varieties of wildflowers growing along the sides, but that’s about all we saw for 18 miles. As we approached downtown Portland, we rode along the Willamette River and envied the kayakers below. One of the highlights of the bike trail was riding over the steel bridge back to the bike shop.
After returning our bikes, Ed picked us up and we drove to Voodoo Doughnuts, a local craze that has become a huge tourist attraction. We actually stood in a line to buy a dozen of uniquely decorated doughnuts to eat on our 7-hour train ride to Spokane. Our dozen contained cake and raised doughnuts with toppings including M&Ms, Reese’s, Trix, Cocoa Puffs, coconut, chocolate, cotton candy, and sprinkles. Again, all of the calories lost during our 23.5 mile bike ride were gained by consuming these 600 calorie doughnuts:)
Ed and I dropped Ron, Joyce, and the luggage at the Amtrak station, and we returned the rental car. We made it back to the station in time to eat a late lunch and board the train to Spokane.
So far, the train ride has been one of the highlights of the trip for Ed. We’re sitting in the observation car eating doughnuts, playing cards, and enjoying a bird’s eye view of the Columbia River Gorge. The train arrives in Spokane a few minutes after midnight and then we’ll either walk or hail a cab to the Travelodge Convention Center hotel for the night.