We opted for the 12-mile longer route today. At times, we regretted that decision as we struggled with some steep uphill over the first 6-7 miles. Twice we got off the bike to catch our breath and let our heart rates return to something close to normal.
The anticipated vistas from Chanticleer Point and Vista House were not quite spectacular due to morning haze, but still the river is picturesque and immense. Our route was mostly along the Historical Columbia River Highway, beside Interstate 84. We rode past multiple waterfalls, stopping for a longer time at Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon, falling over 600 ft. Though there was plenty of water flowing, I can imagine far greater intensity earlier in the spring as the snow melts.
Continuing east, we stopped at the Bonneville Hatchery with its many ponds of fingerling salmon, as well as trout and sturgeon. We wandered at the Bonneville Dam and Lock and saw the fish climbing up the fish ladders.
Crossing over the Bridge of the Gods to the Washington side, we stopped at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center and learned much more about the formation of the Columbia River, and continued into Stevenson, WA to board the boat.
Shortly after we completed our bike ride, the boat set off for an evening cruise, back west on the Columbia River, so that we could experience the Bonneville Lock and see the lowering of the boat from upriver to downriver, approximately 60 ft at this dam. We also saw Multnomah Falls from the river – a different experience.
Overnight the boat will go further east up the river to Umatilla, OR, near The Dalles.
38.98 miles, 2975.7 ft ascent.