Last weekend we took a little drive on the Historic Columbia River Highway which is just east of Portland (about 50 minutes from Forest Grove). It had been several years since we had been on it, which is an absolute shame. In less than four hours we can drive, hike, eat, and take photos of dozens of falls, bridges, trails, and other breathtaking views. How easy it is to take those things for granted.
![Stellar View of Columbia River and Vista House](/uploads/2011/02/20110220-IMG_1320 - Version 2.jpg “Chanticleer Point overlooking the Columbia River and Crown Point/Vista House”)
We did stop at Latourell Falls though to hike a bit and take photos. We have taken this easy, short hike to the falls a couple of times but never knew it was a complete loop (2.1 miles). However, we did go past the falls so I could take a few photos of the cool bridge. My favorite below:
At the time I didn’t know much about Latourell Creek Bridge, but in short order I found out it was constructed in 1914 and is 310 feet in length.
The last stop we made was at the Oneonta Tunnel, but my favorite photo from that stop wasn’t of the tunnel rather the path to it, which used to be the road that travelers used to go through the tunnel.
For me, this trip reminded me how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful (and diverse) part of the country. More importantly…wherever we live, there is beauty. I grew up in Iowa and it wasn’t until I moved away until I realized how beautiful it was in its own right. One of my college friends, Matt Veldey, does a phenomenal job at capturing Iowa’s beauty.