It has been a couple of years since I have been to The Dalles, about a hundred miles east of Portland, Oregon. The first time I was there was in 2005 on a Ford commercial, we stayed at the Shilo Inn (541) 298-5502. It is a decent no thrills Inn, plenty of parking for large vehicles, next to a 24 hour Chevron station that sells diesel and gasoline. The best rooms are the ones that over look the river. I found the staff friendly, but they are not use to large groups checking in; our producer got frustrated a few times because the staff got overwhelmed with changes in rooms that often occur with large productions.
The Dalles was use as our staging area, we drove to Wasco on our second day, about forty-five minutes southeast of The Dalles. Wasco is a small town with a library, liquor store and a few other stores. What is amazing about Wasco and the surrounding towns, miles and miles of wheat, corns fields and other crops, with hues of golden brown blowing in the wind with white windmills darting the landscape like trees. At night the only thing you see are red lights blinking from the windmills and thousands of stars.
The Dalles is interesting town, there is the Dulles Dam, the largest hydroelectric power plant in the United States tours are available at the visitor center. From the Shilo Inn there is a good view of the dam, some assorted crumbling buildings and the The Dalles steel cantilever truss bridge which crosses over to the Columbia River. Personally I think the view of the Columbia River from the Shilo Inn is a great place to do a photo shoot at, an added bonus you won’t have the leave the parking lot.
The Dalles has the cheapest cab fare in Oregon, Five Dollar Taxi 541.926.7272, charges only $5.00 anywhere in the city, that is a bargain. I took the cab to find an RV dump station that I discovered using RVdumps.com, a web site that I employ for finding dump stations when I travel. It was not an easy site to navigate a large forty foot motor home. I had to go wide and then back up to get the right pivot point. The cost is reasonable $3.00. To get to the Dalles dump station from the Shilo Inn, take I-84 west, exit West Dalles (2nd Exit), right at Webber Street. Webber will turn into River Road as it veers to the left, at Kindt Drive make a right, the dump station will be on the left about a mile down.
The Dalles is centrally located next to numerous locations that producers like to shoot at, including Mayer State Park. Mayer offers a great view of the Columbia River and it has a large parking area for crew parking, it is only minutes from The Dalles. The Rowena Crest Viewpoint, this look out point offers a great view of Columbia gorge and the surrounding valley. I have been to this location numerous times on different photo shoots and commercials. There are two ways to get there, the best way to get there from The Dalles is to take I-84 west, exit 76 towards Rowena. Turn left at U.S. 30 W/1st Ave and follow U.S. 30 and travel 2.6 miles to the Rowena Crest Viewpoint/Tom McCall Trail on the right.
If you are planning on filming in the Columbia gorge and the surrounding area please call me if you have any questions or if you need a motor home at 541 619 3934 or 818 317 7099.