#1 FALLS CREEK – I genuinely have a wildly different experience each time I visit.
#2 SPIRIT – This hike can be a bit of a chore and the last time I visited I was stung by 5 yellow jackets. I thought of dropping her down the list, but her beauty wouldn’t be denied.
This place is incredibly magical all year, long, but late fall is my absolute favorite
#3 ABIQUA – Two separate hikes are here that lead to the top and bottom of this beauty. Also a bit of a labour in the descent to both spaces, but the views are well worth it.
#4 TAMANAWAS – The thunderous melody made by this sexy waterfall actually makes me sway when I hear it.
#5 WEISENDANGER (currently closed)
This waterfall was a casualty in the recent Eagle Creek fire. The falls are on the Multnomah Loop along with several others. No word on when the trail will reopen, but I am certain her beauty will endure.
#6 PANTHER CREEK – The hike here is quite simple to the first viewpoint, but you can have 3 very different experiences here if you put in a little work.
I am Always, Always filled with energy at this space.
#7 WAHCLELLA (closed) – Wahclella was my introduction to the hiking world in Oregon. For that reason, and for the power behind this gem – keep it on the list. SADLY, her trail is also closed now, another casualty of the Eagle Creek Fire.
This Monday I returned to one of my all time favorite (perhaps my most favorite) hikes – Falls Creek Falls, just outside Carson, Washington. My friend Seasons and I hike most Mondays and Fridays and it has saved both of our lives. It takes at least an hour and twenty minutes to travel there from Portland and during the Spring and Summer the last 2 miles of that are on a gravel road. In the winter months a gate closes and you must add 4 miles RT to your hike on that very same gravel road. Many people choose not to do this. This makes the hike even more magical. In the summer I often wade in the river, I scale the root ladder and wall so that I might experience every layer the falls have to offer. Sometimes, if I get an early enough start I can venture into the wetlands behind the falls with hills that almost appear painted. This time, though – things went a little differently. You see, every time I do this hike I experience it from a different angle, I discover something new. My friend Drew often makes fun of my affinity for the hike, saying (in a sexy voice because I think he’s kind of hot. And a fireman) “oh, you hiked? Where? Falls Creek Falls?” He’s a bit of a shit, but he is not wrong. I go to the same spot more than any other in the Pacific Northwest. This time there was a light layer of snow on the ground – from 2-4 inches. It changed things greatly. It slowed us down enough that our late start forced us to turn back early. It gets dark in the woods by 4 PM in the winter months and the temperature drops quickly. This time we decided to just enjoy the rushing, rain engorged river, the light snow, the sun cascading into the snow through the thick cedars, fir and pine trees. This still managed to reach almost 7 miles and in the snow that was no slouch of a hike. At one point I ran around a snowy clearing in a circular pattern and looked down to discover that I was following dog tracks precisely. So. I turn into a dog in the woods. Next time we will get an earlier start and the pictures will wow you even more.
Also, I left an iced americano with vanilla and cream close to the vehicle. My entire hike back to the car was filled with thoughts of it’s creamy deliciousness. But my reunion with the tasty beverage was thwarted. A chipmunk discovered the surprise treat and guzzled it down. You might say I hiked and shared a coffee with a chipmunk. And that, my friends – is how you do Monday.
This, this is the life. I moved back to Portland, Oregon 5 years ago because I felt it was time. Time to get away from the hustle and bustle of City life and back to the tiny city that I have felt the most comfort in. One of the biggest contributing factors in my move back is the proximity to lovely, beautiful, perfect nature. Every Monday and Friday a dear friend and I pack up our hiking packs, throw on our scrubby clothes and head out to the gorge, the mountain, to Skamania county. Most of the time our phones work on the hikes, so I to get to do a tiny bit of work – hoping that the insane high I’m on will somehow translate into my posts. And yes, I said “get to”. Though my time on the trail is often an escape, a way to refresh – I love what I do and love talking about it. If you don’t already follow me and all that I do – I make jewelry and I paint and I support myself one hundred percent with the things that I create. It’s not always easy, but it is always, always rewarding. Here are some highlights from today and from my other social media accounts.
Just a few of the more delicate, straight-forward pieces in the ZacharyPryor line above – sent on twitter ( @zacharypryornyc ) for Chloe Lukasiac’s consideration.
Just a step away from the ever-busy Vista House
I always have to get a shot that I can freak my mother out with. This one is just above Horsetail falls.