Rain, Waterfalls and Nuclear Reactors- Have You Ever Seen the Rain?

Are we chasing waterfalls? Good question! Because here come some more. And, we’ll throw in a lot of rain and a non-functioning nuclear reactor for good measure.

Cascade Locks, OR

Headed back towards the coast, we make a stop right up the road from Multnomah Falls near Portland, OR. The original plan was to take a 4.5 to 5 hour bike and hike tour of several falls and sites along the Columbia River Gorge. Until we realized that the pick up point was actually nearly an hour away only to drive back in our direction another 30 min. That means poor Rizzo would be alone in the RV for well over 7 hours, a bit more than we cared to risk.

Vista House, built in 1917, was one of the original “rest stops”.

Great news! We called up the tour company and they agreed to pick us up and drop us off at the start of the tour rather than all the way down town in Portland. That would easily save a couple of hours.

AroundPortlandTours brought us ponchos at our request because, while Portland may get over 70 inches of rain, we’re from Phoenix where it barely get’s 7! Unfortunately, these along with our other best efforts to keep dry failed, miserably. We froze and were soaked through. I’m still sure we’ll look back on the experience one day and laugh at how miserable it was but that day hasn’t come yet.

The falls were quite beautiful despite the hard uphill ride in the cold rain.

While the tour was supposed to include a lot of narrative about the sites we were visiting, we didn’t get a lot of that. Overall, I’d recommend the Hop on/Hop off Trolly tour at $29 per person over the Bike and Hike tour at $95 per person.

Multnomah Falls

The bonus of the tour was stopping at a local farm and picking up a bunch of fresh fruit and farm eggs!

While here, we also got a nice visit from some family that live in Washington. We hosted them at our site for dinner and enjoyed catching up.

Rizzo thought we said hot dogs for dinner so tried to help out.

New State – New Sticker!

On the way to our next stop, we took care of some housekeeping including getting some laundry done at $4.50 per wash and $3.75 per dry! Jeff also got some bowling in and was reminded of our theme for our first stop.

After our super wet stay near Portland, we really loved the warm weather and sun we received at our first stop in Washington.

Friend’s Landing is a recreational park managed by Port of Grays Harbor. It’s located on the Chehalis River and Lake Quigg.

The lake is surrounded by a beautiful 1.75 mile trail. You can also enjoy kayaking and boating, fishing, and bird watching.

The sites are very spacious and the park is super quiet. When we were there only 3 of the 18 RV sites were being used.

Abandoned Nuclear Power Plant

Because who doesn’t want to explore places that may have once contained radioactive material???

Feeding into my love of the “abandoned” and Jeff’s interest in sciency stuff, we unloaded the Triumph and took a motorcycle ride over to Satsop Business Park. In 1977, construction began on one of the most ambitious Nuclear Power Plant plans in the US. Unfortunately, budget overruns caused the project to be canceled before completion. To this day, the two cooling towers, reactor chambers (including one incomplete) and the turbine building still exist. Some of the buildings made it to 85% completion while others only made it to 15% before the project was shut down. No radioactive material was ever brought on site.

Today, the facility is rented out to local businesses and used by the US government, law enforcement and fire departments in field training exercises so it isn’t truly abandoned but it’s still pretty dang cool.

Check out the video tour here.

The Stats

Miles hiked at this stop – 20

Animal Sightings to date – 11 (no new ones here)

Book & Movie Recommendations

Transformers: Age of Extinction has scenes filmed at Satsop Business Park.