This morning comes the real adventure in our trip. See our Day 2 for notes and our "optimized" itinerary for how we would rearrange our schedule. We woke up at sunrise and headed back to the Oneonta Gorge. We were ready for the chest deep wading this time - we brought a foot pump and raft! :) Best $20 I've ever spent! We crossed the log jam and then started inflating the raft. Turns out our raft did not have the correct adapter so it was a chore to get inflated, but we finally got it! This was an easy way to cross the deep water in the gorge without wading in the frigid water. We also got a early morning shot of the waterfall and gorge without the crowd. Hiking back out, we made some young boys really happy by giving our raft away just as they were getting ready to wade.
Back at the lodge, breakfast was pork chops, eggs and sweet potatoes, spinach, fresh blackberries and gluten free toast. After breakfast we checked out and drove to Mt. Hood. We stopped at Trillium Lake first to take a photo. We found it to be very crowded with people picnicking and swimming for the day. Getting to the lake was just a short trail down from the parking area. We found the visitors at Trillium Lake to be quite rude. It was very hard to take a good photo of Mt. Hood here because people kept intentionally swimming and splashing in the 100 square feet (with all the rest of this lake open) in front of the camera on the tripod. Lady on the yellow tube, we were not there to photograph you. I'm so sorry all your efforts to get into our photo failed. :) We preferred the hiking trails to our lake visits.
Next, we drove down the highway and parked off the highway for the Mirror Lake Trail. Somewhere along this trail was where Little Britches and Kelly finally gave out and threatened mutiny. :) I think we marked the exact point on GPS. I personally thought we would never get to the lake. I believe the trail length is severely underestimated or maybe it was just my feet talking. Mirror Lake was not as crowded because most of the shoreline is not cleared. The people here were more friendly.
After Mirror Lake, we drove into Portland for dinner. You guessed it! Cultured Caveman! After dinner we did some grocery and snack shopping to prepare for the airport the next day. We stayed at a hotel in Portland since we had an early flight the next morning. The next day, we drove to the airport, returned the rental car and headed for home. What a great trip!
Interested in other posts in this series? You might enjoy...
Columbia River Gorge - Itinerary
Columbia River Gorge - How We Planned
Columbia River Gorge - What to Wear
Columbia River Gorge - What to Pack
Columbia River Gorge - Day 1
Columbia River Gorge - Day 2
Columbia River Gorge - Day 3
Columbia River Gorge - Day 4