a day in the gorge

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WE badly needed a break, so this week John took a day off of work and we travled down the Columbia River Gorge. Sarah took her BFF Symphony Togafau with her and the girls giggled and goofed the whole day away. First we had to stop at the Million Dollar outhouse, more commonly known as the Vista house. It was under renovation again, I think it’s always under renovation! We looked around, browsed the gift shop and got going to better things. WE stopped at Latourelle Falls. We only hiked to one of the falls because we forgot about the other. Latourelle Falls is very easy to get to so we were able to walk almost all of the way up to it and walk a bit behind it. It was a perfect day for this kind of trip because it was cool but not cold, the sun came out later in the day to make it gorgeous and….there was only a light breeze which for the gorge (known for it’s high winds) is Blissful! From Latourelle we went to Bridal Veil. Bridal Veil takes a bit more effort to get to but we were delighted to see that the paths have been worked on with gravel and rock put down to make it not so slippery. Bridal Veil is viewed from a viewing platform but the girls decided to go climb a large rock that was lower down and closer to the falls. It was all so Beautiful1 Then, we went to Wahkeena, which is a hike up (oh, my aching calves!) but, well worth the 2/10 of a mile hike UP!
Then it was Multnomah falls with it’s requisite TONS of visitors (we hadn’t really run into many people at that point). We hiked up and squeezed our way onto the bridge….it was pretty and I was in awe of Multnomah falls but I could have done without the hundreds of looky-loos. Then it was onto Onionta Gorge where we were delighted to find one of the ‘Old Scenic Highway’ tunnels had been re-constructed. it doesn’t have the same look as the original but since these tunnels were ‘filled in’ in the 50’s it’s exciting to see them coming back! The girls found it fun to ‘climb’ the side of the tunnel and stand on top. not the safest of practices… At last we decided to try to walk up Onionta Gorge and see if we could get to the falls. They’re not easy to get to. We’d brought water shoes (since you have to wade through frigid water) but didn’t take them out of the car. After walking a very short distance we quickly reached the log jam (it’s been there a long time now…wonder why they don’t move it!!) Climbing it we found ourselves faced with the first ‘deep’ water. Symphony volunteered to test out how deep it was (knee deep), and then she volunteered to go further up to see if it was passable at all. Coming back she had mixed results. John didn’t think it was a good idea and neither did Sarah but Symphony and I wanted to try, so we did. The water came up above my knees and was FREEZING, but we made good time. But, then we came to a place where the water was more than knee deep and there was nowhere to go. Symphony tried climbing along the wall but I was too short and too round to grab anything where she did. I had to give up. it was disappointing because I could see the spray from the waterfall and hear it but couldn’t even photograph it without standing in frozen 4+ feet of water! Going back over the log jam I took a tumble and cut my leg but I felt fine. Symphony dropped into 3 feet of water or so and Symphony’s pants ripped I was soaked from my bottom down. It was quite an adventure. We decided to skip horsetail falls because we were starving. We went to a little mom and pop place in Cascade Locks and we enjoyed our food and then we crossed the bridge of the Gods to go to Washington. There we finished our adventure by hiking up Beacon rock wich is only 1.8 miles round trip but feels like 5. The girls opted to stay at the bottom but John and I enjoyed the view from the top. It was a Good Day!!




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