Most road trips start from home, but this one started 240 miles from it in Portland, OR. And while the starting point may have been atypical, the christening for the trip was anything but: we kicked it all off with some amazing food. A walk through Portland’s Saturday Market (on a Sunday) left Brandon and I piling delicious Ethiopian food onto pieces of injera and shoveling the tottering morsels into our mouths. Let the journey begin!
The first pit stop on the way to Hood River was the Vista House; a beautiful place to take in the panorama of the Columbia River gorge. The lookout is nearly encircled by the Historic Columbia River Highway, which we were driving along. Talk about convenient! We stopped for a look and a picnic, finding a patch of grass on which to eat.
A few miles down the highway was the Latourell Falls trail. Starting a road trip to visit some of the greatest National Parks without a proper hike seemed almost criminal, yet neither of us felt particularly energetic. The Latourell Falls trail was the perfect solution: not too long, a small amount of elevation gain, and great views. The payoff was almost instantaneous; the falls tumbled over a sheer rock face coated in a slick layer of bright green moss, visible from our viewpoint.
At long last, we made it to Hood River. We were exhausted and famished. Luckily, we met my good friend Roman (one of the first people I met in Korea!) in town for dinner and a fair bit of catching up.
A beautiful drive, awesome hike, and some good times with great friends? The road trip was off to one heck of a start!