Thursday, May 8, 2014

Portland, OR - Falls

What an absolutely marvelous day - well, after I woke up at 11:00. Strange since we arose at 6:00 to get an early start on the day. Yep, another day at 6:00, breakfast and we were on our way. We began with donuts, natch, since there is a hike on the day’s schedule. Gary’s chocolate long john was yesterday’s long john and a bit dry. I’m thinking that if we’re going to sin then we should at least have it be a good gooey, right-out-of-the-oven, chocolate, long john sin. Why waste calories and sinning on yesterday’s leftovers?

The museum was OK but not spectacular. The first floor is pretty good with a history of the county and the growth of the west. But the second floor didn’t really have a theme to hold it together except it was collections from people in the county. I think they took donations and put them in the museum. We saw a wall of pictures of people who had lived or were now living in the county. We saw some furniture from a guy who came over from Russia and settled here. We saw the world’s oldest rosary collection that someone in the county had amassed.

About this time, I was really flagging. We’ve been going pretty straight out for the last few days and I was showing it. Finally, I took a break, went downstairs, grabbed a cup of coffee with caffeine and sat at the table to peruse some photo albums they had. The caffeine did its work and I was alive again.

After the museum we crossed the Bridge of the Gods again. Today we actually stopped to get a picture of the mural on the bridge base - something we had neglected to do the last time we crossed.

We crossed the bridge to the Oregon side to head back to Portland along the historic highway yo visit the all the waterfalls there. Here’s where the best part of the day begins. In fact, any day that includes a hike is a good day and this day qualifies. We had been told by a volunteer in a Visitor Center that the Triple Falls trail was very nice and that we could see 4 falls within a 5-mile round trip hike. Sounds great. And, it was a marvelous trail. The walls of the canyon were covered in every shade of green in the color wheel, from dark evergreen to emerald to the bright neon green of new leaves.

Then there were the 4 waterfalls: We began with Horsetail Falls.
But in front of Horsetail Falls was this bridge that we had to cross to get to the other 3 falls on the trail. And, here we saw this sign:
Did this engineer graduate last in his class? And, what’s the date on this sign? How much can this one person weigh? And, Gary sent me on ahead to get a picture of me on the bridge. I shut my eyes, walked softly but quickly. Look how nonchalant I appear. You just can’t see my knees shaking. We actually crossed the bridge although some others turned back at this point.
Whew. Next we saw Ponytail Falls. Yep, that's me on the ledge under the falls.
As we hiked further up the trail we met 2 80+ yr old women hiking down. Now, that’s how I want to spend my next years. They told us that a tree had uprooted in the recent rains and the root ball had fallen across the trail. Difficult but passable. Well, if then can do it - I’m not going to be turned back. Onward.

Oneonta was the third falls on the trail.
And we finished off with the Triple Falls.
We went a bit further up the trail to find this bridge.
In between the rushing water of the stream followed us throughout the trail.
The road itself is pretty special too.
At the end we drove up to Women’s Forum SP where we had taken pictures before but this time we had some sun to make everything gleam.
And, the view downstream towards Portland looked hazy in the late afternoon light.
We then decided that we had to see Mt. Hood. We’ve been here for 6 days now and have never seen Mt. Hood. Of course, our choice of dates to visit Portland was not the best. Cloudy, foggy, rainy. No wonder we couldn’t see Mt. Hood. But, today was a bit brighter and we headed towards it so see if we could get atop a hill and see Mt Hood off in the distance, covered in snow. We drove and drove and took each road that would take us closer to our goal. Oh, look, there it is - but the clouds are covering the top. Let’s get closer so we can see it better.

But this is all we could ever get. We could see a bit of the snow covered slopes right over the trees and a bit of the peak above this. This is it. That’s all we saw of Mt Hood. Personally, I think it’s a myth, developed by Oregonians to lure tourists.
It was about 8:00 now and we were 1/2 hour away from home. Dinner ended up being in a Fred Meyer deli counter, sitting at a lonely table with a turkey wrap and a chicken salad.
Actually, it was quite good. But it’s time to get home.

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