As Sarah previously wrote, part of the historic Columbia River Highway is undergoing a revival as a pedestrian and bicycle route. Portions of the original highway were incorporated into the interstate when it was built. Other portions were destroyed, some sections abandoned and some of old tunnels were backfilled. There are sections, still drivable, that became part of Route 30.
The abandoned portions are slowly being redeveloped and according to one Park Ranger, there are plans create a bicycle and pedestrian path along the entire length of the original highway from Troutsdale to The Dalles.
We rode on part of the “unopened” extension. It was not open for use yet because of one bridge still under construction. We were assured by multiple people that we could cross despite the exposed rebar and gravel surface.
Unfortunately, the workers that day disagreed, forcing us to backtrack, which led to a ride on the interstate. It was not fun and a bit harrowing, but manageable.
We arrived on the outskirts of the city of Hood River and decided to take a day off and explore the town. Our first stop was Cathedral Ridge Winery. I did not partake at the tasting room but Sarah & Ron reported back that the offerings were impressive.
The next stop was for appetizers and beer at Full Sail Brewery as we worked out accommodations for the night.
Our choice of lodging was rapidly narrowed down by two factors: availability and affordability. This led to the deluxe and posh Prater’s. The walls were so thin we were able to hear both sides of a telephone conversation in the room next to ours. The air conditioner decided to function on its own schedule and not that of the thermostat setting, leading to a hot, uncomfortable night. We agreed with the motel sign about our choice, “Sorry”.
Unlike the motel, the food and beer at Double Mountain Brewery was tasty. This was followed by Mike’s Ice Cream, equally as yummy.
The night would not be complete without a quote from the primary person behind the Columbia River Highway. Sam, we could not agree more.
Tourists want three things; a good road to drive on, something worthwhile to see and something worthwhile to eat … we will cash in, year after year, on our crop of scenic beauty without depleting it in any way. — Samuel Hill