Our 2015 Columbia River Gorge Driving Tour launched bright and early Saturday morning May 30 from BMW Northwest in Tacoma. Our host, Chris Busch, Pre Owned Sales Manager, welcomed us with refreshments in their new, state-of the-art showroom, a great venue for our morning drivers’ meeting. Thank you to Chris and BMW Northwest for reaching out to our Club members!
Once on the road, we covered lots of back road territory and great scenery including coastal mud flats, forests, river crossings and an ocean. As our 24 BMWs approached Astoria, where the Columbia reaches the ocean, the sun emerged and curvy roads drew us into the coastal lowlands.
Arriving in Astoria, we pulled over for some great BBQ before turning up river and crossing back over the Longview Bridge. From there we could enjoy long views down the Columbia on one side and Mt. St. Helens on the other.
After jumping on I-5 briefly, SR 503 returned us to the twisties as we worked ourselves back down to the river gorge with Mt. Hood in the distance. SR 14 wound us up along the river to our final destination at Skamania Lodge in Stevenson.
There we were welcomed with exclusive parking and an outdoor grassy lounge. It was great just to relax, compare notes, and visit with fellow members and friends, old and new.
All in all, it was a great day of driving, exploring, and connecting with fellow enthusiasts.
See you on the next tour!
Phil Sanders, Tour Leader
Thanks to Christiane Helbig for providing these photos of the trip!