The only problem was that in Oregon, trees supersede views. There's no way they would chop down mighty Douglas firs and oak trees just for a vista point off the side of the freeway.
That's as much of the falls as I could see.
When I was little, after a long, long drive from L.A., passing by the vista point and seeing Willamette Falls and the Oregon City Municipal Elevator was always a sign that home was only minutes away.
Here, you can read for yourself about the significance of Willamette Falls.
And of course, how could I talk about Oregon without mentioning the pioneers? California kids learned about missions, I learned about the Oregon Trail.
In 1844, Oregon City was the first incorporated city west of the Rocky Mountains. It was Oregon's provisional and territorial capital from 1843 to 1852.
Instead of heading home, I decided to drive around Oregon City a bit. Even though it's only a few minutes south, after my family moved to Portland and all my relatives and then everyone else from my village in Vietnam moved away, there was no reason to go back.
It was odd driving around and seeing what had changed and what had stayed the same. At the base of the hill, I saw Tony's Fish Market, then the Church of the Nazarene where some of the parishioners taught us how to be Americans, past my first dentist who let me choose toys from a big glass jar after every visit, the Abby's where we used to go for pizza was now a Mexican restaurant, the roller skating rink was now a movie theater, ending in Beavercreek Road and the duplexes where I grew up playing with my cousins and their cousins.
Oregon City was the end of the Oregon Trail for those pioneers of long ago who left their homes searching for a new life. I always thought it was fitting that my own family's journey from Vietnam to America had ended and began right in Oregon City as well. That thought still in mind as I headed back toward Portland, when I saw the giant covered wagon awning of The End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, I decided it was high time I stopped off to visit.
All Oregon posts can be found in the tag, Series: Oregon. I suggest reading this particular trip in this order:
I-5 From LA to Portland
Mom and Dad's Garden
Burgerville - Portland - Oregon
Hakatamon - Beaverton - Oregon
I Think I'll Go For a Walk Outside Now...
Vista Point - Oregon City
End of Oregon Trail Interpretive Center - Oregon City
Stevens-Crawford Heritage House - Oregon City
Museum of the Oregon Territory - Oregon City
Mom's Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Sizzling Crepes)
Bonneville Lock and Dam - Cascade Locks - Oregon
Bonneville Hatchery - Cascade Locks - Oregon
Multnomah Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Horsetail Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Wahkeena Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Bridal Veil Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Historic Columbia River Highway - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Latourell Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Crown Point Vista House - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Banh Cuon Tan Dinh - Portland - Oregon (Closed)
Downtown Portland - Oregon
Lan Su Chinese Garden (Portland Classical Chinese Garden) - Portland - Oregon
Powell's City of Books - Portland - Oregon
Mom's Geoduck, Dynamite-Style and Chao Oc (Vietnamese Rice Porridge with Clams)
How to Prepare Geoduck and Razor Clams
Geoduck, Japanese Dynamite-style
Chao Oc (Vietnamese Rice Porridge with Clams)
Le Bistro Montage - Portland - Oregon
Kenny and Zuke's Delicatessen - Portland - Oregon
1 year ago today, gratin with purple cauliflower, fennel, and leeks.
2 years ago today, French pastries made by real Frenchmen in the heart of Little Saigon at Boulangerie Pierre & Patisserie - Garden Grove.