Saturday, August 24, 2013

Last weekend, Emma and I went over to Portland. It was a Friday through Sunday just-for-fun trip to get out of La Grande, go to thrift stores, and find a good hike.

We did our shopping on Saturday morning/afternoon, and we even braved downtown Portland to go to Powell's Books.  I'm not a city person, so this was a Big Deal.  I've never been to Powell's, and holy cow, they have a lot of books! 

After escaping with what was left of my bank account, we also fled the city and went to do some geocaching.  Our target for the day was the Original Stash cache, at the site of the very first geocache that was ever placed.

original geocache

Got it!

On Sunday, we headed back to La Grande, stopping along the way in the Columbia Gorge to hike.  I picked the Horsetail Falls and Oneonta Gorge trails.  As, apparently, did everyone else in the greater Portland metro area.  I guess that's to be expected on a sunny summer Sunday.  I've been spoiled by living on the east side of the state, which is much less populated.

We started off at Horsetail Falls:

Horsetail Falls

and then hiked upstream to just before Ponytail Falls, where a side trail split off and went up, up, up to the top of the mountain and an amazing view of the Columbia River Gorge.

This is looking east, upstream along the Columbia River.  Oregon is the near side of the river and Washington is the far side.  The visible highway is the Historic Columbia River Highway, and I-84 is in the line of trees next to the river.

tip top

We didn't find the geocache at the top of the mountain, which was frustrating because it was a steep and hard hike, but the view was worth it and Emma was a trooper on the difficult trail.

On the way back down, she said "Mom, I just love the magical green glowing light when the sun shines through the trees.  It looks like it can bring worn-out things back to life."

I couldn't agree more.

green glow

After we got back to the main trail, we continued up and around Ponytail Falls.  The cave behind the falls was fun.

Ponytail Falls

Then a couple more miles winding through the woods to Middle Oneonta Falls, across the footbridge, and back along the trail to the road and our car.

Oneonta Falls

Other than the swarms of people, it was a great hike.  I'd like to go back when it's not so crowded.

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