It's a picnic, it's a concert, and it's a scenic overlook all in one.
The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area starts just east of the Portland Metro area and extends to about Maryhill, Washington. The contrast in climate and scenery is stunning. In the west, waterfalls spill through Douglas Firs. In the middle, mixed conifers, snow-capped volcanoes and kite boarders catch the eye. Out east, golden, treeless rolling hills stretch forever.
Randi, Dale, Tim and Michelle met us at Maryhill Winery for food, wine, The Wallflowers, and The Counting Crows. The amphitheater offers a welcoming, lush lawn to spread a blanket and share food. Because it is such a laid back atmosphere, people feel free to talk, like at a baseball game.
We left before the encores, a concession to work the next day. So, we enjoyed recorded hits of the Counting Crows as we sped back after sunset but before total blackness. The last light of day created the silhouettes of the rocky cliffs diving into the wide Columbia. Above, stars and a crescent moon shown in the midnight blue. Washington Highway 14 is curvy and hundreds of feet above the river out there. It's the kind of road ad agencies use to sell BMWs. As Tim once said during daylight hours, "It's like driving in a painting."
Sometimes, ya just gotta be grateful.