Thursday, January 8, 2015

Multnomah Falls

Michael Horodyski Icy Jewel 7176 
An old high school friend posted a winter photo of Multnomah Falls on the Columbia River Gorge. It was so gorgeous, it took my breath away. Just thinking about how cold it must be in winter, also took my breath away.

And when we hiked up to the top of Multnomah Falls last summer, I was breathless, too, but for another reason, as my knee wasn't fully healed from surgery, so I used an old ski pole as a walking stick. It was bequeathed to me by the ski lift operator on Crystal Ridge—where we spent a stellar afternoon gazing at Mt. Rainer.

Neil kept telling me I shouldn't be hiking up to the top, but I was determined. it was a personal best moment. I'd been flattened for nearly a year and a half with this knee injury.

With the orphan ski pole, I was able to poke and prod my way up to the top of the first falls. It was muggy. Dragonflies practiced arial rolls worthy of the Red Baron. A storm was brewing somewhere. We lingered, refreshed by the waterfall mist, and lulled by the roaring water. No need for words. We counted rainbows until we were drenched and chilled to the bone.

Coming downhill from the falls was excruciating. I resorted to an odd crab walk, pivoting around the ski pole on alternate steps. I tried hopping, I dragged my injured uphill leg and sashayed. At one point I thought about sitting down and just scooting down on my butt to the parking lot. If only I had some cardboard. But a mile of road rash was daunting. I thought I'd never make it back down to the parking lot to my icepack and pain killers.

I hadn't been to the falls since the early 70s, right after high school. But despite the distance of time, memory was served up correctly. I hadn't forgotten how marvelous Multnomah Falls really are—despite the thundering hordes of tourists seeking the ultimate selfie shots, midsummer. Magnificent Multnomah. Gorgeous gorge. Refreshing—a page out of memory, like the picture stenciled on the cans of Oly my grannie used to sip on hot summer days.

This post was inspired by Katelin Stuart, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, (via Facebook) and Michael Horodyski. I've asked Friends of the Columbia Gorge for permission to share the photo. Here are two links to Michael and his work.

Michael Horodyski, (He also took the iconic cantelevered fog enshrouded tree shot on the way to the Point Reyes Lighthouse.

Icy Jewel 7176   Multnomah Falls is one of the Jewels of the Columbia River Gorge. It's not often that we get to see her covered in ice. We were headed towards Spirit Falls and it was raining/misting in the Gorge and all the falls were frozen. We decided to take some frozen "traditional" photos. It was kinda fun looking at the falls in all their frozen glory. Seeing things with new eyes and such. Both tiers of this falls make up the 600+ feet drop. For size comparison check out the person on the right side of the bridge in red.

Trying to remember to save first drafts...didn't quite succeed. I keep rewriting and rewriting, and a sentence becomes two, then a paragraph...

It's so gorgeous, it takes my breath away, it takes my breath away, when we hiked up to the top of Multnomah Falls last summer, I was breathless, for another reason, as my knee wasn't fully healed from surgery, so I used an old ski pole to poke and prod my way to the top. Coming downhill was excruciating. But I'd forgotten how marvelous the fall are. I hadn't been there since the early 70s. Memory served correctly. Magnificent.

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