Smith Rock, Bridges and Lake Billy-Chinook, Oct.23, 2011

by William Mclaughlin October. 24, 2011 8694 views

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011.

Today we drove about another 200 miles from Redmond, Oregon to Hood River, Oregon…with lots of side trips thrown in:)

The pictures above give you a quick glimpse of some of the sights we saw today.

Tomorrow (Monday), we'll depart the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel and head for home. We should be sleeping in our own bed Monday night after about 5,300 miles and 38 days on the road:)

After departing our Sleep Inn in Redmond, Oregon we only had to drive 7 or 8 miles to get to Smith Rock State Park. The scenery is spectacular and a photographer's dreamland.

Smith Rock is also a mecca for rock climbers. They come from all over the world to scale these rocks. If you will zoom in on this image you will see some climbers going up the cliff face.

More of Smith Rock…with the Crooked River flowing by the base.

Tara took me to the Crooked River Gorge next…300 feet straight down and three high bridges. This is the old Highway 97 Bridge built in 1926.

This is right next to the bridge above. It is its modern day replacement. It is known as the Rex T. Barber Veterans Memorial Bridge.

And last but by no mean least…this is the first bridge to ever span the Crooked River Gorge. This is a railroad bridge and was built in 1911. It is still in active service today.

No pets are allowed in the park next to the Crooked River Gorge…here's why. Mandy stayed safely in the car:)

Our third stop of the day was Lake Billy Chinook in The Cove Palisades State Park. What a beauty. This lake is a man-made lake above Round Butte Dam and is in canyons carved by three rivers..

Tara taking pictures of the cliffs overhead.

Petroglyphs near the lake.

Some of the local flora…

From the canyon rim way above the lake.

We've had a direct line of sight of numerous Oregon Cascade Range volcanos all day. This is Mount Jefferson to the west of Lake Billy Chinook.

We decided to treat ourselves to a really nice place to stay on our last night on the road. This is the 90 year old Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River, Oregon.

The hotel has all the amenities…to include a waterfall dropping down to the Columbia River…

…and seasonal guests that provide a suitably spooky welcome:)

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