It was by pure chance that we saw Columbia Gorge and Mt Hood on our brief two and a half day trip to Portland, Oregon in late September 2012. We had tried to book from Australia on a tour of Columbia Gorge but none were going on the day we needed. We therefore chose a tour with 'Evergreen Escapes' out of Portland to the Oregon Coast which was fantastic. When we were in Victoria BC in Canada we were fortunate met two nice ladies who offered to show us around Portland when we were to eventually arrive there some 3 weeks later. We received a phone call at our hotel in Seattle the morning before we caught the AmTrak Starlight Express train from Seattle to Portland (thats another story, but we recommend having no dealings with Amtrak).
The call was from Sandi,one of the ladies we met in Victoria BC, to let us know that she would pick us up at 3.30 pm at the station in Portland. The rest is history, she did so and proceeded to drive us to Columbia Gorge, Vista Point, numerous waterfalls, a fish farm and on to Mt Hood where we had dinner at the historic Timberline Lodge. We arrived back in Portland by 9.15pm, having been on the road for almost 6 hours - an unexpected and incredibly interesting sightseeing journey that we had entirely ruled out due to our previous inability to book a tour on the limited days we had available in Portland.
The next day we took a great tour to the Oregon Coast to Astoria, Fort Clatsup and Canon Beach.
As we were leaving the following day at 1.00pm we had tried to book a city tour in the morning to no avail due to conference parties having booked out all available tours. Our wonderful friend, unprompted, again rang in the morning early to say she was taking us on a city tour. She arrived with a fruit breakfast at 9.15am and proceded to show us much of what Portland has to offer in just under 3 hours finishing at 12.10pm at Portland airport. As we bid our very sad farewells she presented us with with some of home grown fruit, an Oregon music CD and a box of locally made chocolates. It was made all the more wonderful by the fact that this lovely lady lived 40 minutes out of Portland but was enthusiastic to show us as much of Oregon as could be crammed in in the short space of time we had there. Her knowledge of Oregon history was outstanding and we learned so much along with building a wonderful friendship. We will never forget this incredible hospitality, and we hope to reciprocate in Australia one day as well as revisiting Portland and our wonderful new friend, next time with a bit more time to become better acquainted. Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Sandi, you are always in our hearts.
Categories & Keywords
Category:Travel and Places
Keywords:Columbia Gorge, Mt Hood, Oregon, USA, Vista Point