A visit from a friend last week reminded me of how easy it is to neglect exploring one’s “own backyard”. It had been a while since I had ventured out to the Gorge. Along the historic Columbia River Highway are vast forests of moss and lichen covered trees, waterfalls cascading down steep hillsides and a gentle mist saturating the air. Hillsides were dotted with blooming Trilliums.
The trail to the Bridal Veil waterfalls wound through the woods, along a small roaring creek. Wild raspberry blossoms, lush emerald green ferns unrolling young fronds, birds chirping in the trees, and the misty, crisp air made for a perfect outing.
Upon reaching the waterfall, we watched a young woman carefully move across a log at the creek. Half way across, she paused, waved to her friends taking her picture and then scampered on to the other side.
Multnomah Falls was next. By this time, the drizzle had gotten steadier and the top of the waterfall was shrouded in a thick mist. Hiking past the upper bridge gave us a great view of the waterfall, the ponds down below and the Columbia River.
We saw few people, since it was the middle of the week. This area has lots day-use and picnic areas, plenty of great hiking trails (from super easy to difficult) to the many waterfalls in the Gorge, and some of the most beautiful scenery on earth.
Plenty of rain helps keep the Pacific Northwest green. It also makes for more spectacular waterfalls, roaring streams and plentiful wildflowers in the spring. This visit reminded me of how lucky I am to live so close to this breathtaking beautiful area.
Upon leaving, I promised myself to head out to the Gorge more often!