A few weeks after our road trip to Zion, our lovely friend, Joy Machado once again pulled an amazing invitation to join her and the usual group to Oregon to do some hiking. I was ecstatic and quickly said yes.
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest that became the 33rd state of the United States of America on Valentine’s Day in 1859. It is one of the most geographically diverse states, marked by volcanoes such as Mount Hood at 11,249 feet, the highest peak in Oregon; huge bodies of water like the Crater Lake, the only National Park in the state; dense green forests; high deserts; and shrublands. Our main goal on this trip was to see Multnomah Falls, which is the tallest waterfall in Oregon and is so popular with tourists.
My last flight out of state was in 2001. 3 days after 9/11 to accompany my Mom who just won a vacation trip to Hawaii. Our flight to Portland, Oregon was scheduled on the 13th of January, but on a very early Saturday morning. Yet, I do not believe in superstitions. A lot of changes in the airport with all the checkpoints since my last one. Watching a lot of movies that deals with airlines did not help at all. So here goes our flight. We all met at the airport and got on the same flight except for 2, Eddy Soukhaseum and Darwin Rubio, who missed the flight due to the long security screening line. I sat beside my amazing friend, Christina Hinojosa near the tail of the airplane, while her daughter, Jessica Corona was closer to the front. I did not get enough sleep prior to our departure due to the excitement of the trip. Both of us talked all throughout our entire flight.
We arrived in Portland 2 hours later. Chris Cabana and Bobby Alfaro got 2 rental SUVs. Chris got the Chevy Suburban for 6 people and Bobby got the GMC Yukon for 8 people. By the looks of it, it looks presidential being escorted by the secret service when we rolled out. We first head out to eat breakfast. Along the way, I noticed a lot of Marijuana shops on the side of the road. It is definitely legal to smoke pot here too. Since we were a large group, we got divided into 2 groups to go in to 2 different restaurants depending on their taste.
After our tummies got filled, we went to our AirBnB house that we rented in Beaverton, OR. The place was not ready yet to be occupied, so we decided to go straight to Multnomah Falls. SUV1 stopped at the gas station. We forgot that in urban cities like Portland, OR, the gas attendant serves the gas. It is probable that in rural areas, there are self service gas stations. In the Suburban, Susie Cisneros and the girls perked up the group with lots of laughs referencing Vitamin C and D. We saw the Columbia River on the left side of the freeway and the beauty of Mount Hood from a distant right. We exited I-84 on the left and parked in the lot. Our group was the first to arrived and we called ourselves the group from SUV1. It got cold as we got out the Suburban. We walked under the freeway and finally saw Multnomah Falls from the gate. Sadly, we cannot hike in due to the fires in September of last year. The trees and soil are unstable. We were informed that it will be open during springtime. We took a lot of pictures over there and went in the gift shop. Joy and her family arrived a few minutes later and bought ice cream.
After our short visit to the falls, we head back to Beaverton and had dinner close by before checking to the AirBnB house. The house was huge that it can accommodate all of us. We drank our first bottle of wine, while Normie Chanes had her Vodka drink.
The next morning, we met Eddy and Darwin as they arrived late at night when we were already asleep. We ate breakfast and our plan for that day was to go to Silver Falls State Park that features 10 waterfalls on a 9-mile loop trail. It was more than an hour drive from the house. When we got there, lots of cars parked already. I am guessing it is because it was MLK Jr. holiday weekend. It is not just the waterfalls that are beautiful here, it is the lush greenery that I love about this place. We took our leisurely stroll that included taking a lot of pictures and videos. We did not see all of the waterfalls that day. We had to head back before nightfall.
The whole group decided to eat dinner at the Spirit Mountain Casino Buffet. The food was very delicious and the price was reasonable. We stayed at the casino for an hour. Some did gambling, while others walked off the calories in and out of the casino. I did the latter. SUV1 group decided to go back to the house, while SUV2 continued their fun in the casino.
When we got back to the house, we opened the 2 bottles of wine and Vodka drinks. I had both. We played the Heads Up! game, the adult version. I already knew I was gonna loose this one. Everyone had loads of laugh playing the game. I had to drink Vodka like a waterfall because we lost. SUV2 arrived and later, Chris showed his talent as being a Chiropractor by loosening our spine a bit and not breaking it. Normie, me, and one of the twins (Anna or Annie Tay). I could not tell because I was already drunk and was already lying on the carpet floor and later on passed out.
On our final day, we made sure the house we stayed in was clean as we checked out. SUV1 stopped at McDonald’s for a quick bite and head out east on I-84 to Latourell Falls. Another beautiful place. We exited at E. Bridal Veil Road and turned right on Historic Columbia River Highway. We saw the lower falls visible from the road, while the upper falls was a short hike away. The wind was blowing hard that day as trees sway back and forth. Even the water from the falls get blown away too as it drenched oncoming hikers. It was a fun hike. I even got tips from Christina on using some features on the camera phone.
Our flight was not until past 8 pm. So we decided to eat at a restaurant across the border to Washington state. We can see the Columbia River water being choppy as we drove off and crossing the I-205 bridge. Eddy suggested the restaurant called Feast@316, not too far from the airport, which was located at Camas, WA. It was another delicious meal. After dinner, we walked around the block before heading back to Portland International Airport. I had a great time on this trip with such classy friends. The state of Oregon is such a beautiful place. I am hoping someday to come back and explore some more hiking trails especially Mt. Hood, Crater Lake, and visit the iconic Bridge of the Gods.