Thursday, September 06, 2007

Road Trip--Waterfall Alley

On Labor Day we drove along the Historic Columbia River Highway to check out some waterfalls. Ever since we stepped foot in Vancouver people have asked us, "Have you seen the Gorge? Have you been to the Gorge?" Our answer, a sheepish, "Not yet." I've personally been very busy organizing my cult film books and measuring for window treatments. Sensing the urgency of the situation (how often do you get to live by one of the most beautiful spots on earth?), we visited the Columbia River Gorge. It's 30 minutes from our house. I'm not bragging--just letting you know.

There are many waterfalls along this drive and you just park, get out of your car and see them. Some are a short hike from the highway. Others spill into pools a few feet from your car. We managed to get to four of them in one afternoon and they were all spectacular. I'm talking: jaw-droppingly beautiful. Jackson kept saying, "This is a-MAZING! It's so pretty!" throughout the day. And he was absolutely right. Here are some stock photos I found. I didn't get permission and I haven't tried to upload Photoshop on my new computer yet (those cult film books have kept me very busy), so they're big. Sorry. The better to gasp at nature's bounty.

Here's the Historic Highway, established (I believe) in 1917 for the enjoyment of vacationing car-drivers, world-wide. Over the years, some major Oregon industrialists donated their waterfalls to the park. Thanks guys! It's strange to think that someone can actually "own" a waterfall. It's kind of laughable but not in a good way.
Latourell Falls. There's some really fluorescent moss growing all around the top of the rock face. And a very "Lord of the Rings" kind of pool at the bottom. Much of Oregon reminds me of Middle Earth. I think it's the tremendous plant life all around. It makes the air really good and maybe we're getting a little too much oxygen when we breathe around here. There's a lot of spirituality and general freakiness in the area. Could be the oxygen; could be isotopes. Could be geological activity just below the surface of the earth, creating some electromagnetic fields. What was I talking about...? Oh--check out THESE falls:
Multnomah Falls. BIG--620 feet down. Here's a photo from 1920 with the Lodge in front (still there, in case you want an ice cream or a latte before you head up to the bridge for a better view). We would have felt dwarfed by all the natural wonder except for the 60,000 people walking along with us to see it. Better to go on a week day.

The other falls were not as well-attended, but still popular. I'm going back after a big rainfall and see what kind of water droplets ensue.

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