The Gorge

Fiery 3rd Anniversary

So Michael and I both had to think for a second to try and remember which anniversary it was…we’ve been together over 9 years now but this September we celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary! We must be getting old (or maybe it’s just baby/toddler/brain fog) because it’s hard to remember. LOL

We planned on spending our anniversary staying at Edgefield in The Gorge. We stayed there in January for my birthday and loved it! We loved the food and wine tasting and the hotel was great. We were bummed that we didn’t get to check out the soaking pool (because it was the middle of an ice/snow storm) and wanted to go back to try it.

I’m not sure if anyone else in the country is aware of what’s going on here in the NW, especially with Harvey and Irma and all the other natural disasters happening everywhere (!!!), but there have been tons of wild fires burning all over Oregon and Washington.

It is so absolutely heartbreaking and devastating the damage that has been done. The Gorge is a wonderful, beautiful, picturesque place to visit. I’ve been hiking in The Gorge too many times to even count. For awhile there, Multnomah Falls was being threatened by the fires. I was glued to Twitter and newsfeeds looking for updates, holding my breathe and hoping that the fires wouldn’t completely destroy everything. Thankfully the fire department was able to save the Lodge and Falls.

We are 35 miles from Multnomah Falls and the next day we woke up to our cars covered in ash, the air thick with smoke and ash. In the days after the fires started, there have been many harrowing stories. This one in particular is a good read and a GOOD REMINDER (even to me, who already knows “be prepared in the woods” and has ignored it many times) to be prepared for EVERYTHING. Read this.  How amazing is this below photo?

We had plans to stay at Edgefield for our anniversary but in light of the wildfires, we weren’t sure if we should cancel or not. We decided to wait it out and watch the news and weather. I’m really glad we didn’t cancel (although my first instinct was to) because by Sunday (8 days after the fires started), the air was clear, the skies were blue, it had rained in the Gorge a bit and the fires were more contained.

It was so weird driving out to the Gorge and then getting of I-84 at Troutdale because 84 was closed! It’s been closed for a week and I think it will be closed even longer. We stopped by my aunt’s house to see everybody for a short visit (they were in Evacuation Level 2 — Level 3 was GO!) and then we headed to Edgefield for our anniversary. We were happy to discover no smoky air, no ash, and clear blue skies! (My parents were down from Seattle to babysit Logan overnight.)

We had a nice room — a King sized bed with three windows overlooking the trees. It was a nice room and super comfy bed. We were right by one of the 2nd floor balconies, which we enjoyed several times. It’s European Style, so the bathrooms were down the hall.

We checked in and dumped our bags and then walked around the grounds. We didn’t get to do that much back in January (snow and all) so it was cool to just walk around and see everything. There were several cute little bars tucked away in different parts of the grounds. Michael got an Old Fashioned at one of the hidden bars by the concert area.

We walked around a bit more. It was nice because you could walk around the grounds with your drinks. Then we did the wine tasting. It was part of the package and came with a tasting, a snack plate and free bottle to take home.

We picked the Syrah as our bottle to take home.

After wine tasting we changed and went down to the soaking pool! They give you big, fluffy robes in your room. So we put on our suits and made the short walk down to the spa.

The soaking pool was SO amazing! We LOVED it! It was really big, my photos don’t do it justice. It’s kind of like a lazy river. The water was 102 degrees and felt amazing. We were there about 6pm or so. We ended up spending almost 2 hours in there.

We relaxed in the pool with our drinks. I got a sort of pina colada and Michael got something called funkadelic. LOL We just chilled–for the first time in a long time. 😉

After spending two hours in the pool, we cleaned up and then walked down to find something for dinner. We ended up at one of the outdoor restaurants. It was really nice out, warm and romantic and there were lights all over.

Michael got a burger and I got the BBQ pork slider with coleslaw on it and tater tots. My dinner was incredibly salty, which was disappointing. Last time we were there the food was pretty good. I was disappointed with the food in general this time. But the atmosphere was perfect outside.

We shared a dessert, brownie with ice cream and caramel drizzled on top. The brownie was piping hot. It was really good! We were totally stuffed!

The next day we got to SLEEP IN! Until like 8:30!!!! I can’t remember the last time that happened and it was so nice!

We went down and had breakfast and then packed up our stuff. We checked out and then went over to the spa.

We had appointments at the spa but before that we got to enjoy the soaking pool again. We had the pool to ourselves, too! We spent about 1 hour in the soaking pool and then got ready for our massages. They had showers and tons of towels and robes for spa guests, so it wasn’t hard to clean up since we checked out already.

We got the couple’s massage. I got the relaxation massage and Michael got the cyclists massage. It was so nice to just unwind and relax. After our massages we got beers (for lunch lol!) and relaxed on the deck. I was pretty stuffed from breakfast so didn’t get food. The place was pretty empty since it was a Monday and after checkout so it was nice to just chill with no one around. We laid back and enjoyed our beers and eventually had to make our way home. 😉

Here are a few photos of some of the art from around Edgefield:

I’m really glad we didn’t cancel our trip and I’m glad the fires are more contained. I am crossing my fingers that the damage won’t be too severe. I think hiking in the Gorge will be closed for a long time, sadly.

It was nice to get away but it was nice to be home, too. I missed my little buddy. 🙂

Falls Creek Falls

On our last day in the Gorge we got up early again and had breakfast out on the deck one more time before packing up and heading home.

We stopped at the North Shore Cafe again so I could get coffee and then we started the drive toward home–with one stop first: Falls Creek Falls hike in Gifford Pinchot wilderness. It was sort of on the way to the Bridge of the Gods just by Carson. It was a really beautiful drive through the forest and then you go off the main road and drive about 2 miles–VERY SLOW miles–on a dirt road with humongous potholes. It was slow going and very bumpy. We got to the parking lot and it was about half full (when we left it was all full).

The hike started out in the trees immediately and we hiked alongside a creek that was sometimes pretty fast. There was a suspension bridge we had to cross that was pretty cool. Usually Bella is super freaked out by bridges and won’t cross without a lot of coaxing and help but she did GREAT! Maybe she is getting over her fears.

It was nice that this hike was in the forest and shaded. The day was warming up nicely. Logan loved the hike. He babbled and high-fived Michael and talked to people and dogs that we passed on the trail. 🙂

The hike was deceptively uphill. It gave us some nice breaks and leveled off here and there (unlike Weldon Wagon trail hike that was constantly uphill) and we got to a fork in the trail and saw this sign:

We were almost to the waterfall! Apparently this hike is a 6-ish mile loop but we didn’t plan on doing the whole thing. And talking to some hikers that were coming down the trail, apparently the other part of the hike is a lot of scrambling on rocks. Not ideal with a dog and baby.

We got to a few parts of the trail where there were washouts but for the most part it was a well-maintained hike.

There was another little bridge near some mini waterfalls. It was cute!

Then we were finally to the waterfalls! It was about 10 degrees cooler by the falls. They were gorgeous! So much prettier than Multnomah Falls, in my opinion.

The falls would have been a perfect place to have a picnic lunch but we didn’t have one. 🙂 So we headed back down the trail. Logan was on borrowed time and would need food and out of the hiking backpack soon. We are good if we have 2-ish hours to hike with him. He’s getting better, though, each time we go.

I posted a video on my Instagram if you’d like to see it. 🙂

Pretty good stats for a hike! Afterward we drove to Cascade Locks, crossing the Bridge of the Gods back into Oregon, and stopped at the East Wind Drive in for lunch. FABULOUS burgers and curly fries! The place is always crowded. I’ve only been there for ice cream cones after hikes, so it was nice to get food there. We’ll definitely be back!

We went to the Cascade Locks marina and park for lunch –devoured our burgers–SO HUNGRY! And then let Logan run around a bit for the drive back to Portland.

It was a pretty fabulous little vacation for us!