I decided on a small change of pace and will get back to the Japanese Garden later. The rains have sort of essentially “begun” up here in the North West, which means we have about 70% of our future 6 months spent with days involving at least a little rainfall. Some days……………a LOT of rainfall. Depending on your perspective, now, this can be refreshing – Lord, the air is truly clear and pretty magnificent, the truth is. It would be hard to find cleaner air anywhere or as full of oxygen and good ole Ozone. But it also makes for some amazing natural spectacles – read waterfalls.
(These pictures enlarge when clicked on. Please do so.)
This one, notice, has a walkway behind the falls. In fact, where this picture is taken approaches that walkway as the railing indicates. It’s something else entirely, walking behind a waterfall like this. In the Summer, it is one of the coolest spots around because the spray is pretty unavoidable. The sheer volume of water and the rushing and monstrous sounds are silencing to the senses and you just sit in a sort of wonder – or, of course, scream in conversation with your companions.
Here is the view from behind the falls. “What?” “Huh?”
And this is what it looks like down below. This is Silver Falls, and this waterfall is just the most famous of a series of 10 other falls in the same park, all cascades deriving from an obvious decrease in geological altitude and all following the same river from the mountains, down towards the Willamette Valley leading to the the Willamette River. It is a stunning sort of discovery, frankly, and it will rivet itself in the mental images and memories of just about everyone who ever visits it. Breathtaking in scope, it has a variety of angles to appreciate it, including the very top. Maybe especially the very top. Here it is:
Not bad, eh? But this is a hint, not the best yet. This view is alongside it on one of the paths that wind down to the walk beneath the falls. This is the real top:
I say “Let it rain”, when I see stuff like this and I do make sure I make these trips. They are refreshing, peaceful and awe-inspiring and make life in Oregon sometimes simple genius for the mere fact of living out here. Oh – and this is about an hour outside of Portland, easy to find along some winding country roads which are peaceful in their own right. The numbers of seed grass farms is astounding, en route. It seems to be where Oregon gets its reputation as a real grass seed capital. Huge open fields of green, green grass open up these marvelous vista with Mount Hood often in the view, towering up in its volcanic snow-topped cone like a Mount Fuji – or an ice cream cone for those of us who like food analogies.
My friend Paul and I took all this in one afternoon last year when I got these pictures. I’ll go ahead and show us both with the warning that he is just not too good looking. But the dude sure cooks well! (You know how these ex-footballers are. Paul played college football as a mere 300 pound offensive tackle, lol, being about 6′ 5″ tall (2 meters for you others). And, no, he does not go online, for those who might develop fears for my safety!). Paul also happens to be one of my favorite guys ever. He landscaped with me for a decade, so I know him a little. And, yeah, he is the human equivalent of a backhoe.
Here’s yours truly, with Paul’s able camera assistance, wearing my ever-present Louisville Cardinals hat:
It was a good day. Here are more shots, all of Silver Falls. Oh, that same day we toured closer to Portland. In fact, we traveled up The Gorge (the Columbia River Gorge), a severely sloped valley where the Columbia River passes through whose sheer sides make even more waterfalls, almost all of which are higher and carry as much if not more water than this. They will comprise another post soon. For now, here are some more shots of the absolutely refreshing and stunning Silver Falls, one of my favorite places on Earth:
Feels like a Mohican! This view always reminds me of the movie “The Last Of The Mohicans.”
OK, on, now:
And bow to Mount Hood: ( a Summer view)’