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  • Writer's picturePaul Depperschmidt

Columbia River

One of the key stops on our tour of the west was Portland, Oregon to visit with our daughter, Amanda, and her boyfriend, John. We settled in to Troutdale, just east of Portland. Troutdale is the starting spot for the historic Columbia River Highway an approximately 75-mile-long scenic highway Troutdale and The Dalles, built through the Columbia River Gorge between 1913 and 1922. This area is one of the most beautiful in the US with Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens nearby.

We had a great trip with Amanda and John along the gorge and decided to take a detour to Lost Lake State Park. What a fantastic find. It was almost closed for the season so we had it to ourselves. The view of Mt. Hood and the lake were epic. It was one of the first clear days after the fires that had plagued the area for weeks.

Karen and I took a flight in the Kitfox to see nearby Mt. St. Helens. The signs of the 1980 eruption were still evident. It was still a little smoky, but it was a fantastic view. Spirit lake is full of trees that were blown down in the explosion.

The Troutdale airport worked out great for staging the trailer and the plane. While we were there I was able to meet up with another Kitfox pilot and a guy from Germany who was just starting his own US adventure. He shipped a motor glider over from Germany and was getting it approved for flight in the US. His plan was to travel the country much like we do and fly wherever he could.

On a solo flight I made it to the Hood River airport to see a local auto/aircraft museum. The WAAM museum was truly unique. It held a huge collection of cars and planes from prior to the 50's. The planes represented the wood and fabric era of the 20's and 30's. There were planes in the museum that could not be found anywhere else. And the cars rivaled the planes. The WAAM is well worth a visit if in the area.

The Columbia River Gorge offered some of the best waterfalls in the US. They were in a fairly close area and easy to see. Even Nellie was impressed. The following video will show the waterfalls in their full glory.

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