One of my favorite places on earth is the Columbia River Gorge. It is like going to another world. The hills, the river, the roads and the light. Everywhere you turn is a picture worth taking. You cannot foget the waterfalls. They are well worth the stops.
The town of Hood River, Oregon is where I would move if I was 20 years old and loved the outdoors. Mt. Hood is a short drive with sking, snowboarding, climbing and hiking. The Gorge at Hood River is also the Windsurfing capital of the world. Because of the mountains on either side of the Gorge, which ends at the Pacific Ocean and has very cool weather on the coast and flows eastward toward the hot high desert of Eastern Oregon and Washington, it becomes a tunnel of wind. At Hood River the winds are blowing and they are blowing hard. It is a beautiful thing to see when you come over the mountain and their are hundreds of windsurfers on the River. This was taken from the Washington side looking at Mt. Hood.
Next stop was Friday Harbor. My second favorite thing to do in Washington is take a Ferry to Orcas Island and Friday Harbor. The lighthouse and the Orca whales keep me coming back. A great place to sit and just enjoy nature.