Monday, October 25, 2010

Multnomah Falls, OR

Images from Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area, OR, February 2010

Okay, now we've seen the postcard shot, and gotten it out of the way. Now let's look at the front edge, with the veil behind, which I think is much more interesting.

Now look off to the right, where because of the recent heavy rains there's a multi-stepped stream coming down another side of the canyon wall. What's usually a trickle has become a rivulet, and fascinating to watch.

I'm always looking off to the side like this, looking for the oblique approach, the sideways view, the little corner no one else seems to notice. (Which is exactly how I feel about Latourell Falls, just a short drive away, which most of the tourists never seem to visit.) A grotto, full of spirits, moss-covered boulders and treestumps becoming sacred altars in the wet green light.

Seriously, though, Multnomah Falls really are spectacularly beautiful. They are the best-known, most-developed, most-visited falls of the Scenic Area. They are visible from the interstate, if you just turn your head as you drive by.

You can walk the trails and view the falls from many angles. You can get close, or stand back and take in the magnificent scale of the upper and lower falls, the pool, the river falling down eventually to the Columbia and off to the Pacific Ocean. You can climb up a steep trail to the clifftop and look down on the entire world of the vast Gorge.

And afterwards, you can sit down a great meal at the visitor center's hotel and lodge. If you pick your seat properly, you can even see the top of the falls. I've eaten at the restaurant, sitting right next to a giant roaring stone fireplace, warming my cold bones after hiking wet trails to waterfalls all day making photos, and it was one of the more satisfying meals of recent memory.

And then stand back, on the walk out, and take it all in one last time, hear the roar of the falling water. Take a deep breath, the air thick with mist, and the nearby smell of the greater river with its hint of sea-smell, and be renewed.

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Blogger Mary Scriver said...

All this lives in my head. I love seeing it on the screen and I'm forwarding to cousins!

Thanks, Art!

Prairie Mary

11:49 PM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

Thanks! Glad you're enjoying these.

11:59 PM  

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