Friday, August 03, 2007

More fun in the Portland, OR area

On Wednesday I went on a beautiful motorcycle ride from Portland, OR to the Lava Tubes, also know as Ape Cave, just south of Mt. St. Helens. Good thing it's the journey, not the destination, because walking 1 1/2 mile in almost total darkness except for a small flashlight is not my idea of a fun experience. But I did get a good look at Mt St. Helens.

On Friday I followed the directions to Wind River Hot Springs. However, when I arrived at the parking area the sign said that parking was no longer available due to trash and vandalism. How sad that Americans can be so disrespectful to private property, where the parking area was located, and to our beautiful National Forest lands, where the hot spring is located.

Wind River Hot springs: These scenic but tough-to-reach springs bubble up among the boulders at the edge of the Wind River just north of the Columbia River Gorge. There are two main pools: one large enough for about six people and which is about 105 degrees; the other will hold two people and is about 103 degrees. Both pools are shallow and become submerged when the river is running high. The parking area is privately owned and there is a fee of $2 per car and an additional $3 per person (free for Native Americans). Visitors' attire is about evenly split between bathing suits and birthday suits. Follow SR 14 in the Gorge about five miles east of Stevenson, then head north on Berge Road. Shortly thereafter go left on Indian Cabin Road, which turns to gravel and quickly reaches the river and parking area. From there the route -- not really a trail -- follows a bluff dotted with poison oak for several hundred yards. Before a slide, drop to the river and clamber about a half-mile upstream on rocks and boulders. Caution: It is slippery when wet and not advisable for children or the infirm.

But I did get some good views and pictures of the Bonneville Dam and the Columbia River Gorge.


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