Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tourist time: Oregon day 1 - Multnomah Falls

Tuesday morning (September 1), I flew from Albuquerque to Portland via Phoenix, which is a surprisingly long flight, and started on the second-half of my adventure - Oregon! The Oregon trip was thoroughly (overly?) planned as there were so many things I wanted to do while I was there and I only had 6 days to fit everything in! There was going to be a lot of driving on this trip, with every day having at least 2-3 hours and sometimes more depending on what was next. 

First up was a drive from Portland to Bend via the scenic route around Mt. Hood. The first stop was Multnomah Falls, about 45 minutes east of Portland. It was a good place to grab lunch and stretch my legs with a short hike. It was fairly cool, so I was just dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, which was regrettable very shortly into the hike, an uphill jaunt to the top of the falls. One of the best views of the falls is easily accessible from visitor's center, so you wouldn't need to hike if you didn't want to.

The good news about the hike to the top is that there are switchbacks to help cut down on the steepness, but the bad news is that there is a ton of them!

Despite what the sign says, there were definitely more than 11!

The path is also paved, which makes it a little bit of an easier walk, but I was still pretty slow during the hike and was regretting the choice of jeans as the trail kept going up.


The view from the top of the waterfall isn't nearly as exciting as the first view from the visitor's center, but you can see just how far you hiked (the upper falls are 542' and the lower falls add another 69') and how small the parking lot is. 




You can also get a good view across the Columbia River to Washington.




After the falls, the rest of the drive down to Bend was fairly uneventful. There was a ton of fog around Mt. Hood, so it was hard to see up close, but after exiting the national forest, I got a great rearview mirror look at the top of the mountain rising out of the fog. Next time I head to Oregon, I will make sure to add an actual trip to Mt. Hood to the list! There were a few more mountains dotting the horizon on the way to Bend, and as the sun was setting, the Three Sisters came into view.


Wednesday's adventure: hiking South Sister mountain!

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