What better way to start the new year than looking back at the travel highlights of the past year? 2013 was a year of stunning scenery and spectacular land and seascapes in my travels. My wife Reizel and I were able to cross a few more items from our travel bucket list. In February I went to California to be with my wife on our wedding anniversary. She was in Silicon Valley at that time for an eight-week business trip. I arrived via a direct MNL-SFO flight on a Friday evening US West Coast time, and after having dinner and a couple hours of rest, we (along with the gang of officemates who were also on business trip) started past midnight on a 750-mile (1,200-kilometer) drive to the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Laguna comes on top of the getaway list of the Metro Manila populace particularly during the summer months when jeeploads of tourists flock to the province’s resorts. The ease of access either through the South Luzon Expressway or via Rizal province along the Manila East Road also makes it a popular Visita Iglesia route during the Holy Week. One can visit all the stops in this article with a very early start from the capital, but luckily for this road trip we got a headstart by starting from our house in Calamba.
In my previous post we went on two weekend road trips to the rugged Pacific coast of Oregon in its notorious soggy autumn weather. This time we head inland to sample some of the state’s waterfalls.
Columbia River Gorge
The Columbia River is the Pacific Northwest’s largest river system and forms much of the boundary between Oregon and Washington states. Roughly 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Portland, Oregon on the US Interstate 84, the Columbia River Gorge is a canyon carved by the river and is a popular hiking, sightseeing, and fishing area. The gorge also features dozens of waterfalls on the Oregon side, the most popular of which is the double-tiered Multnomah Falls.
The recent rainy weather reminds me of my two-month stay in Oregon last 2012. Oregon is located in the Pacific Northwest region of North America, an area known for cold and wet weather for a good eight months of the year. Even though it rains almost everyday in the region from October to May, the total annual rainfall only amounts to less than 1,000 mm, or less than half of Manila’s 2,200 mm total. This means most of the time it’s only a drizzle rather than the torrential rain we are used to back home.