Stevenson, WA (July 8, 2022)

We woke up to the sad news that Ross, father of three of my nieces and nephews and a friend for 59 years, died of cancer early this morning. Eerie timing for me because I texted him a couple days ago telling him he would enjoy this part of the country because of his love for all things western.

His death came as a surprise and cast a soft shadow over the warm, breezy, beautiful day ahead. After reaching out to family with our condolences and to mutual friends with the sad news we took on the day, as planned.

Multnomah Falls, our main attraction today, is the tallest waterfall in Oregon and the second tallest year-round waterfall in the United States. We saw it from the river yesterday and up close today. Plummeting 620 feet, in two different sections, Multnomah Falls is the most-visited natural recreation site in the Pacific Northwest. It is considerably more impressive up close than from the water. The lush green of the natural landscape and sheer mountains show it off nicely. I especially liked the moss covered trees. Unlike Spanish moss, this variety clings to the tree trunks as well as the branches.

We drove over the Bridge of the Gods to get to the falls. In Lewis and Clark’s day the toll was $0.02 and today it is $3.00. We looked down from the bridge to see small platforms that look like tiny docks where Indians have exclusive rights to fish anytime of the year. Speaking of fishing, I watched a fisherman in a small boat pulling in gill nets with a special drum built onto the deck of his boat. A fellow passenger did a great job of explaining the while process to me.

We shopped the tiny berg of Stevenson, enjoyed watching numerous kiteboarders having a blast on the river, and poked our heads in the Skunk Brothers Moonshine Distillery before calling it a day.

In memory of Ross, Dan found a pilsner named Roger’s which he enjoyed during happy hour. Ross lived in the small city of Rogers in Northwest Arkansas for a few years, died there, and still has family there. Cleone and Walter met Ross through us, so we toasted him over dinner and shared fun memories.

Back in the room for a quick break before the entertainment started, we were surprised with a cute tray of sweet treats with a Happy Retirement greeting written in chocolate! Another sweet surprise: Zoe, a cruise line employee I met last night when I was writing, brought me a glass of ice water and shared her love of writing poetry.

Entertainment: the resident piano player played lively, foot stomping Honky Tonk tunes.

Time to head further upriver through the gorge. I like to say it is, was, and will hopefully always be gorge-ous! (Get it?)

… Sidebars …

After one to seven years in the ocean, adult salmon return to the Columbia River and head for their home streams. Once there the females make nests in the clean gravel and deposit thousands of eggs.
Along come the males to fertilize the eggs.

For 300 years Spain, France, England, France, and Russia competed with the United States
for what is now Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and parts of Montana and Wyoming.

Japan released 9,000 balloon bombs into the jet stream during WW II, each about 33 feet in diameter.
The hope was they would land in the United States, start forest fires, and cause panic.
The only one that claimed lives landed in Oregon killing a woman and five children.

Dan and Cleone discovered that ice cream bars of various kinds are available throughout the day.
This could be their downfall.


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