The Columbia River Gorge was one of our last stops on the return from our recent road trip up the Pacific coast to the San Juan Islands. It had been a great trip, with one beautiful snapshot after another and the Columbia River Gorge would top it off.

It was a good idea but perhaps not a novel one because the parking areas were jammed around Multnomah Falls, our goal for the day. Sue had reserved timed entry passes for the hiking trail but we couldn't figure out where to park. Every space was taken and there was a line of cars hoping to get lucky. I threw in the towel on the second lot we tried but in order to do that, I needed to back up and then execute a U-turn.

Email contributing columnist Herb Benham at His column appears in The Californian every other Sunday; the views expressed are his own.