Sunday 14th June
Spoke to Pete and Fiona on the phone this morning. They were to have joined us for a while in Canada but due to Pete’s ongoing medical treatment continuing through the summer they have had to postpone until next year. We have had a relaxing time at Robin’s Nest over the past two weeks and enjoyed the beautiful beaches, clean air and quiet roads but it is now time to move on. During our stay we have got to know some lovely people, particularly Scott whose company we have enjoyed and who has looked after us very well. We said our goodbyes and took the 101 into Bandon to pick up the 42S to Roseburg via Coquille and Myrtle Point following the Coquille River. On the way the countryside consisted of large meadows and what looked like cattle or dairy farms with wooded hills in the background and the river winding its way alongside the road. We soon came into a more forested area and noted some bare hillsides where there had been recent logging. There were some interesting road names during one stretch of road e.g. Suicide Creek Road. We got to the Rising River RV Park in Roseburg early afternoon. The park is at the side of the Umpqua River and is nice site with space parking, river views and lots of flowers, particularly roses. Sandy had a nice walk along the river and a swim. The weather is a lot warmer here and less windy than Bandon which when we left was 13 degrees, here we have come to 27 degrees – Phew!
Monday 15th June
We left the RV Park at 9:30 and got onto the Interstate 5 to make our way to a small place called Wilsonville which is just south of Portland. Travelling north along the Willamette Valley between the Coastal Range Mountains on our left and the Cascade Mountains to our right we soon came across the vineyards of this areas wine making country. Our destination was Camping World in Wilsonville, where we are staying overnight ready for the RV to go into the Camping World garage in the morning for a SafeTPlus steering control to be fitted. After booking ourselves in we parked up and went off to have a look around the area. For dinner we found ourselves in Tigard which is a town in the Portland metropolitan area. We stopped on Main Street at Max’s Fanno Creek Brewpub and sat on the sunny patio outside. Craft pub/restaurants are popular here where the beer is brewed on the premises.
Tuesday 16th June
The steering control was fitted this morning and we were on our way by lunch-time. The installation of the control bar has tightened up the steering making the RV easier to drive without constant correction. Tony said it now feels like he is driving a car. After the work we had done at Redlands on the suspension legs and cross bars the RV feels like a different vehicle, however we are now $4,650 lighter! We got onto the I-205 north then picked up the I-84 east to the Portland Fairview RV Park. On the way we came across a stationary truck on the interstate in the hatched area between the joining lane and the right hand lane of the interstate (bit difficult to explain). There was a stationary car behind the truck and a police vehicle behind the car, looked like there had been an accident. The problem was that the truck had stopped at an angle with part of the cab in our lane. We indicated to move into the left lane but the traffic was solid and as we approached the stationary vehicles we had a truck passing in the lane on our left so did not have much room for manoeuvre, plus traffic behind us. We moved as far to the left of our lane as we could without hitting the truck and we couldn’t break any harder for fear of a pile up at the back. The outcome was we clipped the wing mirror of the stationary truck. We couldn’t safely stop so carried on to our exit junction but before we reached it there was a state trooper on our tail with lights flashing. We pulled off the interstate and stopped. The trooper advised us that it was an offense in the state to leave the scene of a road traffic accident and not report the accident. We explained the situation to the trooper and said we intended contacting someone when we left the interstate and that it was too dangerous to stop at the time and the circumstances behind why the accident happened. He appreciated our situation and said that he would not be taking any action. He checked our documents and said he would pass on our insurance details to the truck driver. Firstly, it was potentially a pretty scary situation and secondly, we were relieved that the state trooper was so understanding. Our wing mirror was not damaged, just scuff marks on the back.
Wednesday 17th June
The owner of the truck contacted us this morning to say that the vehicle had sustained damage to the wing mirror and cab door. We spoke to our insurance company, gave them details and left it in their hands. No doubt our premium will be going up next year. After sorting out the insurance issues we packed a picnic and made our way out to see the mighty Columbia River at the Columbia River Gorge. The gorge is a spectacular river canyon, 80 miles long cutting through the Cascade Mountain Range. We took the Historic River Highway which rises high above the river winding around the cliffs of the gorge. The road was constructed between 1913 and 1922 and was designed to highlight the scenic views of the river, including the waterfalls. We came off the I-84 and started our climb to the first stop at Corbett and the Portland’s Women’s Forum overlook. This is a river overlook that captures the grandeur of the gorge.
Next was the Vista House at Crown Point. The house was built in 1917 and is 733 feet above the river. There is a visitor centre here and a view point at the top of the building, again spectacular views.
We carried on around the highway loops until we reached Latourell Falls. Here we took the circular trail up the gorge, firstly to see the bottom falls
then on along the forested trail - which we had to ourselves most of the time - to view the top of the falls. The falls were running fast and dropped into a pristine pool and then continued down the gorge to the lower falls. The sun was shining and we wished we had brought the picnic with us and our bathing costumes.
Back on the road we continued on past Wahkeena Falls over wooden bridges to reach the high Multomah Falls. This is a 620 foot fall and is a very impressive sight.
Continuing on we passed Horsetail Falls before heading back down to river level and the I-84. We crossed over the river at the Bridge of the Gods and into Washington state on the other side. We followed the river back towards Portland along the Lewis and Clark Trail and then back across the river into Oregon. Approaching the campsite on the I-205 we got some spectacular views of the snow-capped Mount Hood.
A thoroughly enjoyable day.