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Dream Wishes
(01/23/2011)
Wall Art (yikes)
(01/23/2011)
2002 Yurt Camping
(01/23/2011)
2002 State Fair
(01/23/2011)
June Ice Cream
(01/23/2011)
The kows have come home
(01/23/2011)
Tumbling / Soccer class
(01/23/2011)
Easter (2002)
(01/23/2011)
Brookes and Brynnen
(01/23/2011)
Brynnen's 5th Birthday
(01/23/2011)
Halloween 2001
(01/23/2011)
Wahclella Hike
(01/23/2011)
At the beach, September (2001)
(04/30/2015)

Wahclella Falls, September 2001

This weekend appeared to be the last few days of summer. Not too many September weekends can brag about eighty degree highs. Not wanting to stay inside on a late summer weekend, we looked for something to do outside. At gorp.com, we found a local family hike that looked like it would be very pleasant for a picnic. It's called Wahclella Falls, and it's about forty miles out of Portland along Interstate 84 (Exit 40, same as Bonneville Dam), on the south side of the freeway.
The day was lovely. All of us were excited, and we bought new gentle leaders for the dogs, hoping that they would be a little more easily handled. They were an excellent purchase, as there were lots of other dogs and lots of exciting smells. Brynnen carried the bag with the chips and the nectarines, and held up very well. A little way up, there's an exciting waterfall that reminds me of the water slide parks.
After a short hike that reminded me a lot of the hike to Thunderbird Falls, we arrived at the waterfall. Brynnen's first words after we saw the falls were "Woah." It is impressive; not very tall but it comes into a gorge area and crashes into a pool in the basalt rock at the bottom.
We had a picnic on the other side of the falls, next to a landslide site. The site looks to be a couple of years old; lots of moss and a few trees have come up in the scree. Brynnen worked very hard to explain the reasons behind the landslide. She thought that maybe it was an earthquake that shook it loose. She explored that thought fairly thoroughly, and then noticed that several trees were missing their tops. Her next explanation combined the treetops and the landslide; perhaps a storm had come through and knocked down some trees and caused the landslide. It was interesting to hear how much the explanation mattered to her.
Part of the success for me, was that we planned something and it was a success. Even though I did not plan for a parking fee (or a fancy parking lot), which necessitated a trip to Cascade Locks and the location of $5, the plan and the execution of the plan, worked out well. Everyone told me they were excited about going, excited about being there and that the hike was worth the destination. That was as important to me as the actual hiking, although I would love to see more of the little waterfalls that make up the Columbia Gorge.
An interesting thing was that if you went left at the trailhead, instead of right and driving into the parking lot, you followed a narrow dirt road up a windy hill, and ultimately onto a lush asphalted parking lot. It was a little weird, and I expect the Parks Department to pave the road; the parking lot is one of several for hikers who hike the longer trails in the area.