Winter has come for the Waterfalls

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I have wanted for years to see frozen waterfalls, and Portland’s early winter finally afforded me the opportunity to see some beauties. The Columbia River Gorge has over 100 waterfalls, and many of them freeze over during the cold snaps. This excursion takes us to the E Columbia River Historic Highway to view Horsetail Falls, Ponytail Falls, Multnomah Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.

Distance and Difficulty: Total of 3 miles across all the waterfalls, with the longest stretch being 1 mile round trip. Easy.

Elevation Gain: up to 350 feet gain

Directions: From I-84E, take exit 28 at Bridal Veil and turn right onto the Historic Highway. Drive for about 4 miles until you see the Bridal Veil parking lot. After you’ve enjoyed the Falls, head back east on the Historic Highway and stop at the various waterfalls (you’ll see them all the way down). Choose the falls I’ve noted, or go even further down toward Ainsworth to Elowah and McCord Falls, Latourell Falls, or Lancaster Falls.

Tip: I strongly recommend cramp-ons for this kind of a trek. The snow is very packed, so snowshoes aren’t necessary, but regular hiking shoes don’t offer the right amount of traction. I immediately picked up a pair from REI after NOT having cramp-ons and am very excited to test them out.

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An easy, rewarding hike to Elowah Falls

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There’s something special about the first hike of Fall. The air is cooler, filled with the smell of retired leaves and dampness, and the multi-color visual display is heart-warming. I celebrated the new season with a simple hike to the Gorge’s Elowah Falls. This destination is a gem – far from the Multnomah Falls crowds, and simple for the whole family, no matter what age.

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Synopsis of Summer: Splendid

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With one of the hottest summers on record, I found myself extra incentivized to find ways to cool down and enjoy outdoor time. Hiking is a standard practice for me, but I also expanded my horizons and added mountain biking (a first!), stand up paddleboarding and a Wildlife Safari to my summertime activity.

Write ups are still in the works for some of these adventures, so in the meantime, enjoy this little gallery of my hiking, biking, and paddling over the past three months.

Crater Lake After the Storm

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Last evening's severe thunderstorm cell ignited some new fires, but at least it also provided a delightful side effect.  To answer some posters' questions, this photograph has not been retouched or enhanced in any way.

Wild fires are running rampant around the country right now, wreaking havoc, draining resources, and displacing many families from their homes. In the midst of these natural disasters, however, sometimes amazing things happen. Yesterday, the Crater Lake National Park posted this incredible, untouched photo of a double rainbow. I think “awe-inspired” is the best way to describe it.

The Unparalleled Cascade Views from Tom Dick and Harry

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If you’re searching for an iconic view of Oregon’s tallest mountain, Tom Dick and Harry must be added to your “must hike” list. A mere hour from downtown Portland, the Mirror Lake trailhead will take you from trafficked Highway 26 to an impressive overlook granting views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, and even Mr. Rainier on very clear days.

I have twice hiked the Mirror Lake trail during the winter months when the lake is coated in beautiful white, but this was my first excursion in the summer time and first ever to the upper division of Tom Dick and Harry. Surprisingly, when you’re not trudging through snow, this hike goes quickly to the lake, but is absolutely worth the added jaunt to the top.

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Project: Oneonta Gorge

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I had the privilege of working with Travel Oregon many years ago for their summer awareness campaign, and was delighted to see this year’s focus is on the “7 Wonders of Oregon“. The Coast, the Gorge, the Mountain, the Hills, the Rock, the Wallowas and the Lake all have stunning highlights in this series, but the feature on Oneonta Gorge was particularly moving for me. I’m looking forward to experiencing Oneonta first hand when the weather reaches its peak heat wave, and will make sure to tell you all about it.

P.S. If this video doesn’t motivate you to “get out there”, then I can’t help you.

 

Hello, Spring!

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It’s the first day of Spring, and I’m delighted to say it actually feels like it here in Portland. The plants are budding, the skies are (thinking) about parting, and the temperature is slowly, but surely rising. This time of year, I’m compelled to start migrating from my snowboard to my hiking poles and enjoy some of my favorite Spring things. Continue reading