From the Blog

An Afternoon, A Full Tank of Gas, Chapter III

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My goal on Sunday was to see some trees and some snow. I heard they have those things here in Oregon.

Seeking snow could be easy in many respects. If it’s raining in town (as it has been, non-stop, for the past week), it is likely snowing in the higher elevations. Seeing snow is good. Getting stuck in it is bad. It is a fine line between seeking fun snowy recreation, and getting stranded and needing chains. And wanting to stab yourself with a fork for ever thinking snow could possibly be fun.

Sunday 3

Helpful tour guide Dave came up with a happy medium. We drove east through the Columbia River Gorge to Multnomah Falls. I’m beginning to suspect that Dave has gone so long without a car that he will go for a drive anywhere. While always charming company, I do have to continually ask him to keep his head in the car window.

Multnomah Falls was a short drive out of town on scenic 84. It’s been wet, so there were many little white ribbon falls high on the roadside cliffs. The Columbia was wide and swollen enough to be mistaken for a long lake. On a closer view (perhaps unwise while driving) the current was strong and choppy and full of white caps.

Every time I move to a new part of the country, I love getting to know the natural history of the area. I’m a total dork for geology. I love seeing road cuts into sheer rock walls, and seeing the twisted history of the land. I’m on a self-imposed moratorium on buying any new books (a whole other post). As much as I am itching to read up on the geologic history of Oregon, all I can really do right now is guess at what created this time-lapse drama. Plus, it’s fun to pretend that I know what I’m talking about.

The falls were right off the side of the road. It’s still March. And Oregon is a northern state. So I got out of the car and dressed in layers. 4 layers. Plus a hat, and a scarf. And gloves I think. Perhaps overkill. It was drizzling also. I’m delicate.

So yeah, Multnomah Falls. 620 feet high. The second tallest year-round waterfall in the US. It was pretty high. And loud. And wet. It was pretty impressive.

Thatsa Lota Watta

We hiked to the top. Seemed like a great idea. I love to hike! But then I remembered, I’m super out of shape! Remember those four layers? Plus hat? And scarf? And maybe gloves? I didn’t need all that while hiking. I have all those calories to keep me warm.

It was a pretty steep climb, with a lot of switchbacks. It was wet and muddy. It was an asphalt path, but there were lots of places where you could lose your footing and die. Pretty awesome.

620 Feet Down

There’s a lot of water. It was all moving pretty swiftly. But there were calm little pools and eddies of water above the sharp edge and the void below. This is why Zen gardens have water features.

We clomped back down the hill and it wasn’t even 11 am yet. So we kept driving east and stopped at the Bonneville Dam. The facility was fairly deserted. It could have been more interesting to see the fish ladders if it was spawning season, or if we were in the mood to go on a tour and get educated. I think we were sort of “meh” on getting educated.

We kept going east and had lunch in the cute little town of Hood River. It was charming and a little snoozy on a blustery Sunday in March. I can see how it would be a mecca for water recreation in the summer.

On the drive back, we stopped at Crown Point. And took pictures.

So no contact with snow on this trip. But perhaps trees AND snow was a little ambitious. Maybe the next trip will be to Mt Hood. Maybe a little skiing or maybe a snowboard lesson. I think I need to check on my health insurance in case I break my leg or my skull.

Chapter I of An Afternoon, A Full Tank of Gas here. Chapter II here.


  1. Looks like The Journey of Natty Gann. Is Dinger your wolf?

  2. Gee, I drove on ice and saw trees just 25 miles out of LA on the Angles Crest on Sunday.

  3. So…this Dave fellow…? He’s showing up quite a bit around the blog…

    Sorry, I just started to notice:

    1. VERY sexual-neutral terms you use to describe him like “helpful tour guide” to throw off readers. Check.
    2. He’s in his “ripe old age of [late mid thirties]”, according to his blog. Check.
    3. He doesn’t gush on about his children or wife, suggesting he has neither. Check.
    4. He mentions “falling in love with countless cosmopolitan women” in Montreal. Not gay. Check.
    4. Here’s his photo. Check. Yum.
    5. He’s going to spam my blog for digging into matters that don’t concern me. Check.

  4. Yes Len. I am a woman of my word. As I clearly stated casually mentioned in Post 265, Paragraph 3, the plan was to date men and steal their friends. It’s a plan that works much more smoothly if YOU DON’T CALL ATTENTION TO IT.

  5. Len,

    Ah shucks – thanks!

    I had hoped the first time “yum” was used to describe me it would be by a woman, but I’ll take what I can get.

  6. Dang! This comment was actually supposed to be attached the latest post, not this OLD one! Now you guys are safe for a little while longer.
    Because, as we all know, the blogosphere likes to tear relationships asunder!
    And, yes, sorry Dave for being your first “yum”. If it’s any consolation, I’ve got a collapsed sternum which can, when my arms are positioned the right way, create the impression of triple A cup boobs.
    (Another boob reference on Heather’s blog! Hurrah!)

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