Fall is when the Columbia River Gorge pulls out all the stops to put on a spectacular show. Red, gold and orange pops from every tree branch in an explosion of color. The leaves hang on for dear life as the east wind attempts to blow them loose to tumble to the ground.
The show is hitting its peak right now. Many branches are already bare, the east wind having done its job, and roads are covered in a blanket of fall color. Like the harvest season that has just ended in Hood River, soon the show will be over, so catch it while you can.
On a mission to Hood River to procure more apples for my famous apple butter on the final weekend most fruit stands are open, my girls and I made a few stops to experience the autumn beauty only the Columbia River Gorge can offer.
Our first stop was Benson Lake State Park along I-84, just before you reach Multnomah Falls. A popular fishing spot, we found it totally devoid of other people. With the wind calm and the sky shining blue, the reflection of fall foliage on the lake surface was surreal.
Nest we stopped at the Eagle Creek Fish Hatchery. My oldest daughter, Sage, recently studied the life cycle of salmon in school.
Here they were easily viewed from the banks for the creek as they swam upstream. As they put on a show of their own, I couldn't be sure if it was in competition with the trees above, or in symphony with them.
Pictures don't do this sight justice. The sounds of the rushing water of Eagle Creek, the salmon as they swam and splashed in the current is just something that should be seen. Therefore, I took a little video to transport you to the banks of the creek with me.
We could have spent hours there. In fact, we very well may have because time seemed to slip away as the girls played in the fallen leaves and I stood mesmerized by the salmon.
We tore ourselves away and continued our journey to Hood River and arrived at the fruit stands just before they closed. It was one last visit to the orchards, and we returned home with another 20 pounds of apples in the trunk destined to become butter.