It has been a whirlwind the last seven days. After flying into Portland, we headed west toward the coast and spent three days making our ways slowly south. In California we spent a day walking among the redwoods before heading inland and north toward Bend. This morning, on our final full day in Oregon, we drove along the Columbia River and stopped at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum. It happened to be the 25th anniversary of the museum opening, so there was plenty of cake.

While the inside of the museum had a lot of Native America artifacts, animal skulls, and some wicket taxidermy, it was the outside that interested me. It was like going back in time. I spent a few years living in a small farming community during my high school years, so the old world farm equipment drew me in.

Even an old carriage sent me back in time. Perhaps it was that I had spent so much time driving around during the last week. Perhaps it was a need for a simpler time. Or maybe I just liked how it looked resting in the shade. One of my favorite spring flowers is lupine. It grows all over in Oregon. Alongside the road. On cliffs near the ocean. And at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center.

Upon arrival at Multnomah Falls, I felt as if I had entered another world. Most of the locations we visited were pretty empty. Even walking in the redwoods, we felt as if we often had the place to ourselves. But at Multnomah Falls, we found all of the tourists. The young. The old. The loud children hopped up on sugar. And the teenagers accidentally hitting people with their selfie sticks and pretending to push each other off the edge. Insert eye rolling here.

Despite the crowds, the views were amazing even if the spray from the waterfall kept getting my camera lens wet. The hike to the top of the falls was worth it. Lunch at the lodge was not, but maybe that is because the Crater Lake lodge from yesterday put it to shame. So now, I say goodbye to Oregon.

For now.

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