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  View original topic: Mt. Hood exploring and camping trip report!
goldtooth Fri Oct 23, 2020 4:36 pm

Here is another quick overnight trip we did last week. I put together a video for our Youtube channel and did a trip report for the site below. The video definitely does a better job in capturing the windy night we had!



With a sunny weekend forecasted in late October, we decided to head out towards Hood River to check out the fall colors on the abundant fruit trees and then explore the forest to find camp for the night. We decided to take the Historic Highway 30 that takes you by the many waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge. We hoped with it being Friday, there would not be the insane levels of traffic that usually plague the area.


Our first stop was the Vista House that is perched along a cliff overlooking the gorge. Here is a brief paragraph of the historic house:

Samuel Lancaster, Assistant Highway Engineer for Multnomah County in 1913, supervised the Columbia River Highway project. Lancaster’s proposal to construct a building on the summit of Crown Point was another reflection of his desire to inspire the traveler along the highway and to make the wonders of the gorge accessible.

As Lancaster described it, the Crown Point promontory was the ideal site for “an observatory from which the view both up and down the Columbia could be viewed in silent communion with the infinite.” Such an observatory would also be a fitting memorial to “the trials and hardships of those who had come into the Oregon country.” And it could “serve as a comfort station for the tourist and the travelers of America’s greatest highway.” He suggested it be known as the Vista House.

Majestic! It’s the only word to describe Crown Point capped by its venerable Vista House.

Since 1918, this regal sight has enthralled millions of travelers. From its surrounding vantage point 733 feet above the Columbia River and overlooking the busy I-84, countless sightseers and photographers have enjoyed a step back in time and one of Oregon’s most inspiring views.






From there we meandered down the amazing old road admiring the gorge views that peak through the dense trees. It was near lunch time so we pulled over at one of the many waterfall trailheads and made some black bean burgers for lunch.







We followed the old highway until in eventually lead back to the busy I84 and headed towards Hood River. We stopped for some last minute groceries and headed out Highway 35 to stop at a fruit farm to get some cider and Nancy wanted a pastry.



We took a small road off of Highway 35 that seemed to disappear into the hills. We followed this tiny paved road up the mountains for some time and took several gravel off shoots looking for the perfect camp site. One side road kept getting smaller and smaller as the trees tried to reclaim the road. We drove slowly, weaving back and forth trying to minimize the scratches on the Westy and one small branch even made it’s way in my window and gave me a smack on the face!

That road ended with nothing so we had to turn around and find somewhere else to explore. The next set of roads were a bit more well used and we wound our way further up the mountain and away from civilization.



As we climbed an old logging road, we could see potential in this site as the views opened up in front of us. There was an established fire pit (though there was still a fire ban) and views of eastern Washington to the north and Mt. Hood to the south. Though it was a bit windy, we decided to call this home for the night.





As we made camp, the winds picked up a bit more and we started to rethink our decision but in the end, thought the views were worth the wind for the night.




As we started making our chili for dinner, the clouds moved in and the wind picked up even more. We were very appreciative of the Westy’s versatility to allow us to cook inside on a night like this. We ate dinner inside and decided it was going to be an inside night and read some books for awhile then pulled out the iPad which we typically download some Netflix just for times like this. We drank some wine and watched some shows then off to bed.



It was a rough night of sleep with the wind howling all night and when we woke up the next morning, it had not let up at all. The wind did blow all of the clouds away and after the sun came up, we were rewarded with a beautiful sunny day.











We left camp and decided to keep exploring the area and found another great campsite a few miles down the road. The wind was a bit stronger there but may be a great spot in less windy conditions.








The road kept giving us amazing views of our giant neighbor.





We soon found ourselves back on Highway 35 and pulled over to make some lunch and explore the riverbed that passes under the highway.





After lunch, we pointed the old van west and soon were back home, already planning our next adventure!

Thanks for following along!
If you liked the video, please think about subscribing and leave a comment as we would really appreciate the feedback!
nate

Slimvest Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:03 pm

Good stuff. Nice to hear your RJE sounds similar to mine at idle: chugga-chugga-chugga. :)

jimf909 Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:38 pm

Thanks for taking us along! I always appreciate your trip reports and videos.

dhaavers Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:14 pm

Beautiful trip & a great post! Thanks for inviting us along! 8)

- Dave

goldtooth Sat Oct 24, 2020 4:28 pm

Slimvest wrote: Good stuff. Nice to hear your RJE sounds similar to mine at idle: chugga-chugga-chugga. :)

Yeah that Rocky motor is something else. The RMW exhaust adds to the lumpy-ness and you can hear the pulses as it idles. I put the larger Flowmaster HP2 muffler on as well and it sounds great. Wish it was a bit quieter at idle but it sounds great under full throttle.

nate

Energy Concepts Sat Oct 24, 2020 4:41 pm

Thanks,
Nice Camp, Pictures and Report !
We were up there South of Hood River,
at the base of the Mountain,
Saturday in our 91 High Top,
celebrating our 54th !!! Yay !!!

We stopped and stocked up on a bunch of Apples !
We drove hwy 14.

best,
John C...

goldtooth Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:14 pm

Energy Concepts wrote: Thanks,
Nice Camp, Pictures and Report !
We were up there South of Hood River,
at the base of the Mountain,
Saturday in our 91 High Top,
celebrating our 54th !!! Yay !!!

We stopped and stocked up on a bunch of Apples !
We drove hwy 14.

best,
John C...

Congrats on your 54th! It is such a beautiful area and we can't wait to go back
nate

goldtooth Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:23 pm

jimf909 wrote: Thanks for taking us along! I always appreciate your trip reports and videos.

dhaavers wrote: Beautiful trip & a great post! Thanks for inviting us along! Cool

- Dave

Thanks guys! As you both know, these reports are quite a bit of work to plan for, record, and write but I really enjoy sharing the places we get to take our Westy. Should have a new report before Thanksgiving as we are headed to the Olympic National Forest for a few days. I need to get the pop top back on as we took it off to refinish it and put on a new tent.
nate

vanagonjr Fri Oct 30, 2020 7:22 pm

goldtooth wrote: as you both know, these reports are quite a bit of work to plan for, record, and write but I really enjoy sharing the places we get to take our Westy.
It’s appreciated - enjoyable real life video. 👍



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