Our trip out to Portland, OR this summer had us visiting and hiking Multnomah Falls, one of the area’s attractions just outside Portland. The Falls are on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge along the Historic Columbia River Highway. The feature is obviously the 620 feet (189 m) falls that can be seen from the road, but there are hiking trails into the hills with many more falls and elevation drops. The six mile-long Wahkeena Loop Trail is up three miles and then down for another three. And gorgeous. You’ll pass by six different falls. I think only one of them has a name, Fairy Falls. If you’re in the area it should not be missed.
|Those are plant roots just dripping with water.|
|The top. It was all downhill from here.|
|There is more moss than trees on this trail.|
|…that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot of trees.|
On another day we went off to visit Mt. St. Helens. It too is a stunningly beautiful landscape, but the areas devastated by the 1980 eruption are ever-present. Nature is taking over, slowly but surely, but it’s easy to see where the volcano’s damage was done in areas of, still, scarred earth. It was the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the U.S. Fifty-seven people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway were destroyed. Below are some photos from that day trip from Portland.
|Hiking in a lava tube with nothing but the lights from our cellphones.|