Sunday, June 19, 2016

Just for fun

I wanted to get the dogs photographed against a beautiful blue-sky-puffy-cloud background. Finally had the perfect sky for it, so I enlisted Dave's help to get Navi to pose up on a bench, while I got down low to try and get the sky behind her. Barclay wasn't interested in participating.

Nice Profile

Navi is so eager to do right and be good, she is just delightfully goofy sometimes.

What a pretty girl!

"The hand of God" :)


Monday, June 06, 2016

Bridal Veil Falls, Horsetail Falls

Back to the Gorge for some more waterfall hiking. Stopped at the Portland Women's Forum Overlook again. That's a nice place to get out and stretch after getting on the old Highway.

This sign had a nice history of the building of the highway. I particularly liked this part:

"Standing here I realized the magnitude of my task and the splendid opportunity presented. Instinctively there came a prayer for strong men, and that we might have sense enough to do the thing in the right as not to mar what God had put there... Samuel C Lancaster, Engineer, 1915"

I think that's an attitude that is sadly lacking in so many endeavors today. Many thanks to those who created the access for us to enjoy this natural playground.

I headed on down the highway to Bridal Veil Falls. It is one of the first falls you come to, and it is just an easy walk to the falls, not even a half mile, on a very civilized gravel path, so of course it was quite popular, and I was lucky to get a spot in the trailhead lot.

Pretty little flowers along the path.

Finally the path goes up some stairs, over a couple little bridges, and takes you to the waterfall, which is kind of around a corner. There is a small viewing platform for admiring it.

The water flows into the pool, and then continues downhill, but walking down to the stream, you can barely see the waterfall.

Very pretty, still. I was happy with this shot.

And a little farther downstream, past one of the bridges. I love the way the water turned out on this one.

Afterwards I took a stroll around the path that goes around the parking lot, and out to the edge of the cliffs. I stopped to read this sign about Native American traders, and was a bit taken aback by how they slipped 'Slaves' in there with basketry!

More flowers on the path.

The path goes out to the cliffs with a nice view across the river to Cape Horn. Phoca Rock is visible out in the river. You can click on this pic to get a bigger version.

I was certainly not worn out yet, so I headed on down the old highway, looking for something else to do. After driving past some of the bigger attractions, I came to Horsetail Falls, and was surprised to see it was right there by the highway!

About then the rains came back and I decided to head home. Nice easy day of visiting waterfalls though. I really enjoy my weekly ramblings.


Monday, May 30, 2016

Back to Trout Lake

This year was an unusual one at Trout Lake, because although we had the date marked off on the calendar, as we do every year, Dave had just started a new job (delivering lost luggage using our tow vehicle, the Flex), and he had to stay home and be on call. We considered just skipping it, but decided he could tow the trailer over there and leave me and it there for the weekend, while he went back home with the dogs.

So here we are with a couple of the neighbors for the weekend. The little silver one is mine. I had gotten it all prepared and tested at home, but the one thing I did not notice until I was here and living unplugged, was that my battery was dead! It wouldn't hold much of a charge for long. So it was ok for the lights, because they are LEDs and don't need much juice. A little tougher on the waterpump, because it is a power hog, but I can get by just fine without it by keeping a pitcher of water handy The fridge ran fine on propane. But it was pretty cold up there at night, and not having a heater was going to be a bummer. Luckily I had friends who brought over their generators and charged me back up to full every day, which was enough to get the heater running at night long enough to warm the place up, and I had a couple warm blankets too, so it wasn't bad at all.

The mountain was jaw-droppingly beautiful, as usual.

And there was this weird cloud that didn't even look real just hanging out that afternoon.

More happy Airstreams

No Airstream gathering is complete without flamingos

Jonathan was chopping wood...

So he could make campfire magic later. He's a fire wizard!

Then the musicians start gathering

And a fine time was had by all!

I never get tired of the view.

Magical clouds over 'Sleeping Beauty'

Stars over the mountain at night. So many stars I don't even know what I'm looking at. That's Cassiopeia over the mountain. I guess the skyglow is from Seattle? We're a long way from it, but it's in that direction.

More music. We never get tired of music.

The electronic devices come in handy when no one can remember the lyrics!

(not my trailer - that's Gail's trailer, which is very similar to mine)

The last morning. What a beautiful morning! Dave came back and hooked up our little trailer and we headed home. It was great to see everyone, as always, and we missed our friends who couldn't make it this year. Trout Lake is always the best kickoff anyone could want to the camping season.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Panther Falls and Falls Creek Falls (and Cave)

For my weekly outdoor adventure I decided to drag Dave along. For one thing, I hadn't forced him out into the woods lately, and I thought it would be good for him. For another thing, it was a LONG drive out to the woods, and I didn't want to be alone if I broke the Miata.

So we headed down Highway 14 to White Salmon, and headed north into the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. We had a guidebook, 'Curious Gorge', but in retrospect next time I'll bring some accurate maps. This wasn't like driving the old highway to Multnomah Falls. Forest roads are winding and poorly marked, and I was a bit worried we were going to get lost more than once! And it's not like someone is going to come along and help you find your way, there's not a lot of people out there in the middle of the week!

First stop: Panther Creek Falls.

I was told this is the most spectacular waterfall you've never heard of. There isn't even really a trailhead, just a wide spot of rutted dirt to park alongside the road. Then you walk back along the road about 50 ft and there's an arrow hand-spray painted on the road that says 'falls' - we almost missed it. Follow the little path there into the bushes, and suddenly you are walking on a lovely path through tall trees.

The path goes down to follow this stream a short distance, protected by a fence, and then to a viewing platform for this:

 It's difficult to capture how big this is! It's two streams flowing down this huge wall of rock.

 The streams that tumble down to the waterfall are pretty impressive on their own.

So that was a very short walk to a very spectacular waterfall. People told me if it wasn't located deep in the woods, everyone would be flocking to it. I agree!

 Next stop - Falls Creek Cave.

We didn't do much at Falls Creek Cave except look at it and change our minds about going any further. I think I would do this if I came with more people, but with just the two of us, if someone got hurt, it would be bad. We decided to hold off on this adventure.

Next stop: Falls Creek Falls

So, again, people told me this is the best waterfall in the Gorge (though it's quite a ways from the Gorge itself. They assured me it was worth it. It's a two mile hike in through a lovely forest along a river for much of the hike.

One neat feature, again - hard to capture in photos, was this section where you cross over a little stream coming down the hill, and the rocky area the water is coming out of is all covered in beautiful moss. It was really other-worldly.

The trail continued along past this neat rock wall all covered in moss and ferns

Finally we heard the falls, and looking up, way up, we caught sight of it - the upper falls. Seeing photos of it did not prepare me for how HUGE it was, and the spectacular roar of the water, and the rush of wind coming off of it. It was amazing!

Midweek hiking for the win! We had the viewpoint to ourselves.

Lunchtime, with a view!

Dave climbed down to the lower viewpoint to try and give a little more perspective. As he said, it looked like something you'd expect to see in the jungles of Peru or something!

Finally we headed back, and Dave took a picture of me crossing the bridge at the beginning of the trail. It was a great hike, and a spectacular waterfall.