[By Marcia Milner-Brage, near Multnomah Falls, Oregon, USA]
Multnomah Falls is 30-miles from Portland on the highway along the Columbia River Gorge. There is an exit just for the Falls. The parking lot is 50 feet from the Falls. It’s jammed with tour buses.
While sitting and sketching the above, I must have heard a dozen different languages. Two million people visit this sight every year, apparently from all over the world.
It’s not the highest waterfall (only 620 feet), but it’s got to be one of the most accessible. You can really get close to it, especially if you take the paved trail up to the footbridge which was 79-feet above where I drew. Its flow is uninterrupted all year. The drama of its falling water was exhilarating.
I tend to seek out natural wonders away from throngs. I relish hiking a mountain trail or alpine meadow where the only run-in with others is coming upon just-deposited bear poop (here is the post about that: Visiting Volcanoes). But this visit to a much-visited waterfall was wonderful, just the same. Families and couples taking selfies, everyone partaking in an ice cream cone or a cup of coffee from the kiosk at the base of the Falls—visiting Multnomah Falls was awesome and inspiring. The joy it elicited in my fellow tourists was delightful.
|Moss covered maple by Washougal River|
As an add-on (and antidote to the experience of Multnomah Falls): we stayed for a couple nights in a secluded cottage on the Washougal River, across the Columbia River in southern Washington State, not far from the Falls. It was like a lush rainforest there. All the tree trunks were covered with moss. Light filtering through the dense leafy canopy created a dazzling green glow.