Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Multnomah Falls, Portland

How much can you pack into one day of hiking and sight-seeing? A lot in a city like Portland where scenic marvels are within day-trip distance.

My husband Bill and I (he captured the photo to the right) spent Saturday morning hiking to the Japanese Gardens and that afternoon we headed off for the snow-covered heights of Mount Hood and Multnomah Falls, the second highest waterfall in the nation. We managed to get halfway to the mountain when the narrow twisting road convinced us that snaking up its flanks would deprive us of the opportunity to see the falls while there was still enough light. It wasn't as if we'd missed the mountain. It looms like a snow covered volcano over the Portland horizon to the east and can be seen from most any place in the city.

We arrived just as an environmental fiesta was coming to a close. Far, far, above us a practice session for an emergency rescue crew was winding down, one final rescue worker doing the last rappel of the day. Rather than the flying leaps and rapid bounce off the rocks that I'd always associated with rappelling (too many adventure movies perhaps), this young man descended very slowly, very carefully, arriving at the bottom to a scattering of applause from spectators who despite the chill weather were eating ice-cream cones.

How does one describe the falls? With adjectives or metaphors? With wild abandon or cautious steps? All of the above and more but rather than risk over-writing I'll leave you to imagine the roar of its drop and the force of its height and presence.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune named Beryl as a "Best of 2006 Minnesota Authors." Her book The Scent of God was a “Notable” Book Sense selection for April 2006.

1 comment:

mhostrup said...

What a beautiful journey.