We stayed a couple of days at The Dalles: We had done another round of clearing things from our cabinets so had a large bag of donations for the local Salvation Army store. We're slowly winning our war against "stuff" on the boat.
We moved from a large house in Texas, to a smaller apartment and then to the boat, so each time meant getting rid of "stuff", but we're only now starting to get to what feels like the right amount for the boat.
One of the many winter projects is to keep going through the various cabinets, empty each one in turn, deep clean it and put less things back in than first came out.
Organizing what is left also helps, and I finally put in the book shelves (oiled in Boyer) in Di's cabin.
Back to cruising, using the down river currents, we decided to skip a stop in Hood River to keep going towards Beacon Rock State Park, a place we'd really enjoyed on the way up but found busy on Labor Day. We were looking forward to having it to ourselves on the way back, out of season.
We went through The Gorge in bright sunshine, calm waters and dry air. Mount Hood was visible behind River Hood, and the mountains reminded me of Switzerland. It's really a beautiful place to cruise and it's easy to understand why it's a popular destination for many inland river cruises.
Initially the North side was still drier than the South, but eventually both sides became lush with tall green trees in dense forests.
We stopped at the port of Cascade Locks for a quick overnight rest -we like the beautiful setting and the adjacent park- and left the next day for a very quick and simple passage through our last lock, Bonneville, and on to Beacon Rock State Park, just below the damn.
Just enough time to recover the fenders after the lock and the current propelled us towards the entrance to the park. Not very wide, but plenty of water as long as you stay well in the center.
We found the dock empty, so we'll make Beacon Rock our home for the next few days before we resume our down river passage.