It’s springtime in the Pacific Northwest, and I always look forward to traveling in the region this time of year. I love the fresh, green leaves and the multitudes of colorful blossoms…and the wonderful scent in the air that I wish I could bottle!
The “greening of the gorge” (Columbia River Gorge, to be exact) is part of this seasonal experience that I look forward to each year. The western, wet end of the gorge is pretty much green throughout the spring and summer seasons, but the eastern, dry end won’t stay green for very long; thus, I encourage anyone who wants to visit this region to do so now before things really start to heat up in the temperature department and the gorge bluffs’ vegetation withers away. What’s left is barren, tan colored landscape. But, hey, that’s beautiful in itself and makes for some fantastic landscape photography! But, if green is your thing, then take a ride down the gorge now! Here are some sample photos that I took just recently that will show the green gorge as it is now, taken from Rowena Crest, which is on the east end of the gorge, located between Mosier and The Dalles, Oregon. The highway you see far below in the photo is Interstate 84.
Driving to the top of Rowena Crest is fun, especially from the east end of the road… if you like steep climbs with hairpin turns. The drive is along the Historic Columbia River Highway. Here is a view of one of these curvy loops just below the crest.
At Rowena Crest, there are nature trails (Tom McCall Preserve) that lead through fields of abundant wildflowers this time of year. The most prolific species I saw were the colorful, blue Lupines and yellow Balsamroot, and I didn’t even have to walk far from the parking lot to view them. They’re absolutely lovely!