Columbia River Gorge

Waterfalls!! Somehow these never get old.

A few weekends ago (yeah, I’m tardy on this post!) I hit the Gorge with several co-workers (Team Jive: Matt, Kevin, Phil, Christy, Michael, Erin and myself) to do a series of short hikes/waterfall stops. We happened to catch some amazing weather. Cold temps, but came right after a bout of winter weather in the Portland area (snow?!?! OMGWTFBBQ!!!). This made for some truly astounding scenery as most of the waterfall areas were frozen over.

First trail was up to Latourell Falls. Ordinarily this is a pretty easy trek, however on this day we had a wildcard: ice. Everywhere! Several sections of trail were completely frozen over, making for some pretty interesting ice patch crossings. I didn’t mind, it added some excitement to the day. 🙂


The first of many icy spots


Trying to make our way down the trail (completely frozen) at Upper Latourell Falls. Me? I slid down on my butt. Bumpy but efficient.


Just as Kevin started sliding down.


Every single blade of grass, twig, string of moss… frozen.


Amaze.


The one little bit of sunshine we saw. 🙂


Hanging out up at the top of Lower Latourell.


So cold, even the sap was frozen.


Wonky tree.


Lower Latourell Falls.





It had this kind of lit-from-within look. Beautiful.


Uphill trail covered in a sheet of ice? No chance. We improvised and climbed up a little cutoff… still plenty challenging, it was also frozen.



More frozenness.


After Latourell, we stopped off at Bridal Veil Falls, a short half mile hike off the historic highway. Took a couple shots and headed back.


Bridal Veil Falls


The team


An off-the-side-of-the-road waterfall that I forget the name of. Shame on me.

Since we had an out-of-towner with us, we decided to swing by Multnomah Falls just so he could say he’s seen it. Now, I usually love to make fun of Multnomah Falls for its numerous tourist trap qualities. Soft serve ice cream, espresso bars, gift shops, strollers and grandparents as far as the eye can see (which is still pretty funny). But on this day, I was actually once again amazed by this place, which I never thought would happen again. I’d never seen it frozen over. Gorgeous.


Multnomah Falls


Put a bird on it (see it?).


The freezing mist created big ole piles of fluffy snow at the bottom of the falls.


From the bridge, looking down over the lower part of the fall.

Last trek was out to Elowah Falls, about another 2-2.5 mile loop. More ice on the trails, although this one was more snowy than anything. We did come across some pretty rad icicles. I didn’t consider it at the time, but in retrospect, I probably should have been more nervous about one of these breaking off right over my head. 🙂 Elowah was probably my favorite waterfall of the day, although it was SO powerful that the mist prevented me from taking many photos. 😦 Only got a couple, and they didn’t really capture it properly, IMO.


Ice crossing! Pretty certain I scooted across this one too. I’m lazy like that.


Man-sized icicles!


What? This seems like a perfectly safe place to stand.




Traversing more ice. Thankful for that handrail right about now.


The bottom of Elowah


Elowah Falls

And, because sometimes I like to make an appearance on my own blog (so what?), here are a few of Kevin’s photos from the day:


Matt schooling me in something.


A perpetual state of wonderment.


A totally organic, definitely not posed, moment.

Stellar day. So glad we made it out on this day… I feel like we lucked out and got to see something pretty special. Even better that it was with an awesome group of people. Of course, after a day of chasing waterfalls, it only made sense to hit Hood River for some Double Mountain… and then SE Portland for some Cascade Brewing Barrel House… and then Cartopia for some Wiffie’s Fried Pies. #loveportland

Hiking and backpacking season is right around the corner! Been thinking about it a lot lately. Can’t wait to get back out there…

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