Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vista House from Chanticleer Point, in the Columbia River Gorge

Please scroll down to see today's dahlia, TG-12, from the Canby Dahlia Trial Test Garden, sponsored by The Portland Dahlia Society and The American Dahlia Society, in co-operation with Swan Island Dahlias, maintained in honor of Nick Gitts, Sr. Dahlias on trial--not for sale.

The last full week of September Lamont's friend John came to Portland from Lafayette, Louisiana, for vacation. On Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 19 and 20, Mama and I drove him here and there in both Portland and the Columbia River Gorge.

Y'all won't believe it, but I decided I could drive up to Vista House from the east and then down along the Historic Columbia River Scenic Highway, from Latourell Falls to Wahkeena Falls to Multnomah Falls to Oneonta Gorge and the Oneonta Tunnel to Horsetail Falls. I convinced myself that if I went up there from that direction, I would be on very few scary, high, curving roads--that's the way Lamont took Mama, Lucy and me last November. And I figured that I could drive all the way down even with the curving, high, scary roads because 95% of the time, I'd be hugging the earth. By that I mean I would have the other lane to my left which meant the thin air was at least that far away from me. Out the passenger window all I could see was earth, trees, ferns, the woods.

Our first stop, Chanticleer Point (now known as the Portland Women's Forum Scenic Viewpoint), provided the opportunity to get this vista and its photograph. You can see the actual Vista House there in the distance, on the right atop Crown Point, 733 feet above the Columbia River.
DSC_0018_vista_house_fr_chanticleer

This is a closely cropped shot of Vista House. In the blurry background you might be able to see bits of the Bonneville Dam. I'm not sure about the name of that rock sticking up. I need to do more research. I did discover that Chanticleer Point stands at 705 feet. That's why I said drive up at the first of this post.
DSC_0017_vista_house_cropped

Here's a shot of Vista House that I took in May, 2007, when our friend Milton and Kay were here visiting from Mississippi. I didn't take one like this last month--some sort of work was going on which meant plywood here and there.
DSC_0086_Vista_House
As we made our way down into the Gorge, Mama kept saying from the back seat, "You don't look scared from back here. You're doing just fine." And I later found out that John told Lamont he thought we just might drive off the road to the right a couple of times--I knew I got close to the edge, but I couldn't help myself. I did make it, though. Hooray for me!

Look beneath the dahlia for more information about Crown Point and Vista House.

Dahlia TG-12.
DSC_0184_tg12

From the Oregon State Parks Web site: Millions of visitors driving from Portland through the Columbia River Gorge don't realize the full impact of its beauty until they come around the bend near Corbett at exit 22 and see the famous building on the top of the cliff to the right. This is Crown Point and the building is the Vista House.

Just as the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of freedom, the Vista House serves as the symbol of the Columbia River Gorge. In fact, the architect of the Vista House -- Edgar Lazarus -- and Emma Lazarus (who wrote the poem of the Statue of Liberty), were brother and sister.

The Vista House was built in 1916 at the same time as Highway 30 (what is now the Historic Columbia River Gorge Highway, and the only way to reach Crown Point). The building was designed to be a place of refreshment and enjoyment of the Columbia Gorge. The popular clifftop viewpoint recently underwent a $3.2 million restoration to repair and rejuvenate the building's key historic features.

The octagonal building with its copper dome houses a museum, gift shop and interpretive display of historic and geologic points of interest in the Gorge.

Vista House is open daily from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. beginning March 14. Beginning April 19, visitor hours are extended to 9 a.m.-6 p.m. The building remains open daily through Oct. 31.

4 comments:

Jim K said...

Judging by the view the drive and scaring your visiting passenger was well worth it.

*Tista s PDX-a* said...

Right now at this time of year, it must be VERY PRETTY up there! Your pictures want to make me drive there as soon as the rain stops!:-)

John Chadeayne said...

Lynette, you did a great job of driving and showing me around and I really appreciate it! I had a blast..and I can't wait to come back. I did think we might put a wheel in the gutter a few times, but we made it just fine! Tell Grandmom and Duncan I said hi! Take care, John

Chuck Pefley said...

One of my favorite vista points whenever I'm in the area I try to swing past Crown Point. That dahlia is gorgeous, too, Lynette!