Sunday, August 31, 2014

Falling up the Falls

Got up this morning, and realized I really needed to get out of the house. So I pulled myself together and about 8:30 I drove out to the Columbia River Gorge.

My immediate goal was Multnomah Falls, which at the hour I arrived was relatively clear of tourists, and gorgeous as always.

I walked up the path to the top of the lower falls, where I got this shot, looking down on the lower falls from the bridge:

And this shot of the upper falls through the iron barrier near the top of the lower falls:

Then insanity struck me, and I decided to try to walk to the top of the upper falls. Straight up. Through 11 switchbacks.

Needless to say, I didn't make it to the top. I made it through 4 switchbacks, decided I'd walked straight up far enough, and started back down.  It was a good thing, too, as my legs were so wobbly and my knees complaining so hard by the time I got back down that if I'd actually made it to the top, someone would have had to carry me down. As I was on my own, that would have been awkward.

Then I drove down to Vista House, but the parking was impossible, so I headed home.

All in all, a lovely day. Just what I needed.

More shots at the Flickr set.


  1. Trekking poles would make a HUGE difference for you. Costco has had 'em in stock all summer -- $30, an excellent deal.

    Have you ever been to Latourelle Falls? If not, don't miss it. VERY accessible. Fabulous pics, incl. of the columnar basalt. For the semi-daring who don't mind getting wet, a short slippery scramble leads to *behind* the falls. Thrilling!

    1. I was going to stop at Latourelle, but the parking there was even worse than at Vista House. And I'm definitely going to have to invest in some trekking poles - I was thinking about them as I struggled up and then back down. But honestly, I just don't have the cardio capacity yet to make that kind of walk, even with assistance, short of brawny men carrying me both ways. :p

  2. The trekking poles at Costco are great -- super price & quality, with interchangeable tips. They will save your knees, as well as lessen exertion. If you can't find them at your Costco let me know & I'll check the Costcos closer to my home on your behalf. I'll bet the next time you try Multnomah Falls trail you'll make it all the way: it becomes far less steep the higher you go -- plus you will be in better shape. Let's plan a gentle waterfall day trip some weekend in the near future -- crowds should settle down in a week or so. I can also teach you the "rest step" -- mountaineers use it; it makes a significant difference in your climbing capacity & efficiency.

    Ponytail Falls is a good one waterfall -- the trail goes right behind it -- but for later, as your fitness continues to improve. We still need to go kayaking. We haven't forgotten -- we're just waiting for the right time & conditions as I want to make it as easy & fun as possible for you.

  3. I went there last time I was in Oregon! We didn't get to the very top either, but we got pretty high. My uncle took a picture of me that made it look like the waterfall was pouring into my mouth!