Skamania County, Washington

We spent our last 5 days in Skamania County, Washington State, using the beautiful Skamania Lodge as our home base.

(Click on each image to see the high-resolution version)

On this and other trips to the Northwest we have seen many expresso stands, the Northwesteners are sure addicted to their coffee! Here's one we saw in Stevenson, WA:

Espresso Stand

My most memorable hike was undoubtedly the hike up Beacon Rock on a gorgeous day in the gorge. The rock itself is reputed to be "the second largest free standing monolith in the northern hemisphere" (depending on the definition), but whatever the acclaim, it is an impressive natural structure.

Beacon Rock

Beacon Rock

But more impressive is the view it affords from the hiking trail and on the top of the rock -- the near 180-degree semi-panoramic view of the Columbia River from up and down stream spread in front of you, and it is breathtaking.

Columbia River (from Beacon Rock)

Columbia River (from Beacon Rock)

Columbia River (from Beacon Rock)

Further upstream, one can see Bonneville Dam, one of the concrete clamps on this mighty river.

Bonneville Dam (from Beacon Rock)

My other outings include a couple of hikes to two beautiful waterfalls: Panther Creek Falls and Falls Creek Falls. Compared with the waterfalls on the Oregon side of the gorge, the ones on the Washington side are mostly tucked away in the cascade mountains and require a hike of various lengths and not right next to a scenic highway. This I like very much, as it "filters out" the more casual tourists, and the hikes make them more rewarding.

Panther Creek Falls

Panther Creek Falls

Panther Creek

Falss Creek Falls

Falss Creek Falls

One night I tried my hands on nightsky photography outside the lodge, the results are not as impressive (my lens is a rather slow f/4), but you can see the Milky Way in the following picture.


And a few wildlife pictures taken around the lodge:

Song Sparrow

Hooded Merganser

California Scrub-Jay

American Crow


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