During my visit to Columbia Hills State Park last weekend, I took a hike to the crest of the hills that stand a couple thousand feet above the Columbia River Gorge, from the Washington side. There are miles of open space. Windmill farms lie to the east. To the south, one sees farmland and cattle country in Oregon. Beneath my feet were a dizzying array of blooming flowers, the balsamroot and lupine. I now rate this as one of my favorite perches in the Pacific Northwest.