Oneonta Gorge and Multnomah Falls – Oregon

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Those walking past us were wet…really wet.  I tugged my socks off, knowing we would be going through water.  I’d rather deal with wet creek walkers instead of wet socks and shoes.  As I leaned up against the car and observed the people walking by, our friend began laughing.  Almost hysterically.  I knew there were “surprises” planned for this trip, and from the expression on our friend’s face, I was guessing this was one of them.

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We set off towards the bridge, but before we could cross it, our friend turned to the side and walked down a narrow staircase leading to the creek bed.  The first pool of water our friend walked through came to his knees.  We walked around it.  Maybe this was the extent of deep water?  Further down, we encountered a log jam.  We waited as those in front of us climbed a slab of rock, and then followed.  The rock was steep, but I managed to find a few outcroppings to step on that felt secure.  At the top, we climbed over and came down a little ways, meeting a log halfway to balance on.  As folks tip-toed across the damp logs, I looked down and noticed that the ground was quite a ways down there.  Though the logs were large enough to feel safe on, you wouldn’t want to slip.  They resembled a larger than life pile of matches randomly dropped in the middle of the creek.  Towards the end, I opted to go underneath the logs on the right side instead of walking on top the other way.

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That was fun, I thought.  Then I looked up and saw what was ahead.

IMG_9605What once was a wide creek bed narrowed as the side of the mountain rose straight up on either side forming two cliffs which felt as if you were entering a canyon; below, the water collected in a pool.  Somehow, I just knew this was the moment our friend had laughed about back in the parking lot.  And it was.  It didn’t take long for the water to rise past my knees and when I was half way through, it came up to my chest.  The tricky thing was the rocks on the bottom of the creek bed.  Some of them were pretty big and smooth.  When you stepped on one of those, it momentarily lifted you out of the water and for a second, you might think you found a secret passageway through the ice cold liquid…only to let you back down with the next step.  Though I didn’t fall, my advice is to take each step slowly and carefully – there are some big rocks down there you can’t see!  On the other hand, I’ll mention that the water was freezing.  This may not bother some folks, but just keep it in mind.  On the other side, the falls were tucked back in a corner that looked like it came right out of an exotic jungle.  Clear water fell into a pool and moss clung to the rock face covering the gorge in lush green fuzz.  If I had not been shivering from being wet and cold, I probably would have enjoyed the sight for longer than I actually did.  On the way back, I noticed a slithery friend zoom in front of us, gliding over the water with ease that can only be ascribed to a creature that doesn’t have legs…if you know what I mean!  That little black and yellow guy was obviously on a mission and not wanting to bother with humans, but he sure gave me a newfound ambition to make it through the gorge quickly!  LOL

 

 

 

 

 

The falls!

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A little way down the road we briefly stopped at Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon.

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Still cold from being wet, I was very grateful for the coffee shop just outside the visitor’s center where I bought some hot tea.  (For my fellow fans of hot tea, I’ll mention that they had a great selection!)  Anyway, just around the corner on a paved path was Multnomah Falls.  Two streams of water fell melded into one to make a seamless display of beauty.  I love waterfalls and there are so many to see in the Pacific Northwest!

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The upper falls of Multnomah are 542 feet and the lower falls 69 feet.  We stopped to gaze at them at the bottom and then wound up the trail to Benson Bridge, where we took more pictures and posed in front of the falls.  This was a beautiful place!

IMG_9635On the bridge, looking down at the lookout point below.

 

Worth It?

Yes, on both accounts.  I say this of Oneonta Gorge because of the experience it gave you.  ItIMG_9630 was an adventure you would expect from a backpacking trip deep into the forest, yet, had easy access by car and wasn’t off the beaten path too far.  This is your best option for a unique sight with a beautiful destination.  Recommendations: go when it’s hot so the sun can warm you up when you get out of the water.  Though you’ll be pretty wet, I wouldn’t recommend going in a bathing suit and definitely not a bikini.  Have a towel or sweater waiting for you in the car in case you get chilled.  While you’re there, definitely make the drive down to Multnomah Falls!  They are amazing!  Plus, there are restrooms at the visitor’s center and food/beverage options.  Both of these are a 30 minute drive outside of Portland, Oregon and will give you lasting memories of the beauty and grandeur of the Pacific Northwest.

More info on Multnomah Falls can be found here —> Visit Oregon

Author: lynnschronicles

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