An offer to take my daughter out for a farewell dinner before she heads off to college morphed into a day trip with lunch at Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, Washington and stops at two parks on the way home. She loves to travel, and a simple dinner at Red Robin or Gustav’s just wasn’t on her radar.
She and I had lunch at Skamania Lodge a month ago or so and she wanted to return with Dad and brother in tow. When she and I went, we practically had the place to ourselves mid-week. But on 8/18/18 (which turns out is a very popular wedding date) and being the weekend, the Lodge was filled with a large wedding party, as well as summer weekend guests. Our timing wasn’t good, as the main dining room closes between 2-4, so we ate in the more lively sports bar area. The Lodge itself has a mini Timberline Lodge atmosphere with large stone fireplace and lots of wood, terrific views of the Columbia River Gorge, has a golf course and zip lines, and plenty of outdoor seating (although the waitress warned us the bees were being aggressive if you ate outside, so most everyone opted to eat indoors.) The food was pretty standard brew house fare. I had pizza which was good. My son had pulled pork sliders which he said were fine. My husband had a veggie burger which wasn’t his favorite he’s ever had, and my daughter had a vegetarian pasta dish which she enjoyed. I will say we were a bit disappointed there weren’t more walking paths to wander upon (I like to wander in gardens.) It’s more of a lodge for sitting and enjoying the view. They do have activities for hotel guests available, but as we were just day trippers, there were less options. Because I wasn’t really planning on a blog post about the lodge, I didn’t take any photos and had to borrow the two images from Google.
The drive from Vancouver is a scenic one along SR 14 on the North side of the Columbia River. Unusual this year were the incredible number of tent caterpillar webs hanging in the trees along the highway. In all my life, I’ve never seen such an infestation! It looked like every other tree had been TP’d by miscreant teenagers.
On the way home, we stopped at Beacon Rock State Park where the kids skipped rocks, and we sat in the shade at a picnic table playing a game of Uno. We really have epic Uno card games. They can go on for hours. We combined two decks so we don’t have to shuffle the discard pile so many times.
Next stop was St. Cloud park, which is a small park easy to miss as you drive past at 50 mph, which is why it was so quiet there. It must be an old homestead, as the park is made up of an abandoned apple and pear orchard. The state has added gravel walking paths in a circle around the perimeter. There is an uneven path you can walk down to the River. During August, the River is pretty low, so you are able to walk out further along the rocks. It’s not a relaxing beach atmosphere, but we had the place to ourselves. I was happy to find not a single piece of trash on the ground either. The kids had a ball having a contest to see who could skip a rock the furthest, while mom and dad found flat rocks for them. My two kids are fairly competitive in that way.
All in all, an enjoyable afternoon trip much better than a meal at Red Robin.