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Skamania Lodge, Columbia River Gorge, WA

November 16, 2011

The Columbia River Gorge outside of Portland, Oregon is one of those gorgeous places on earth where the land looks like an HO railroad set. Green, wet, majestic, beautiful. Incredible.

I’ve been to the Skamania Lodge for a number of Microsoft retreats over the years and the occasional DARPA meeting (back when DARPA spent more loot on venues for meetings). My company hosted a closed meeting of like-minded professionals in our space. Skamania was a perfect place for a meeting like that…just far enough off the beaten path that 80 or so participants disconnect from their work and connect with each other.

Room 421 is a very nice suite with two rooms attached. The suite’s living area is spacious with an incredible view.

Picture windows and a fireplace in the suite.

Looking into the kitchen/dining area.

The view itself (taken through a window).

The cloud filled vista somehow reminds me of Argentina.

My attached room, number 423 was nice, but dated. Seems like a time warp to the ’70s even though the hotel itself was constructed in 1993. There is something German about the functional nature of the architecture and the lines.

The bathrooms suck. No way around it. My shower was built over a fiberglass bathtub that squeaks and bounces as you step in and out. Bendy shower curtain rods and not enough space conspire to complete the suckage. Don’t come here for the showers…come for the view and the conference facilities.

The only way to capture the bathroom in bits is a through the mirror shot.

The shower. Not good. Mostly plastic.

On my way out here, I made a jag east to go to Powells Books. I’m pretty sure that Powells is the best bookstore on earth. Their fiction/lit section is incredible. If you even remotely like books, I recommend Powells.

Bottom line for Skamania is either a very low four showerheads or a very high three. Great place for a meeting, but not so great for a shower. Bring your own mixology.

2 Responses to “Skamania Lodge, Columbia River Gorge, WA”


  1. […] Nice enough. So why the wishful thinking? Contrast this view with the one from the Skamania Lodge. […]


  2. […] room 492—a suite positioned at the very back of the building facing the wrong way. After having been in 421 for the previous meeting run, 492 is just not right. Get […]


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