Friday, March 11, 2016

An Icy Trail to Tamanawas Falls

A fond farewell to Winter

As I trudged through the muddy icy trail to Tamanawas Falls this week, I realized that I had fallen head over heels in love with Oregon.  But I must qualify this:  Oregon in the Winter.  Perhaps it is the novelty of cold temps and snow.  Perhaps it is the strange and beautiful environment.   So different from Southern California.  All winter I have felt I was in some foreign exotic country.  And then it hit me.  Oregon is satisfying my wanderlust.
This beautiful trail is on the eastern slope of Mt. Hood.  Last summer we attempted it, but gave up.  There were way too many people!  Not this week.  We saw only six other hikers and a big furry dog during our four-mile trek.  And that is another reason I must qualify my affirmation.  Oregon is well-loved.  Especially in the summer.  But it's a whole different world in the summer.  A Grand Central Station of Nature Seekers.  Only Nature gets lost in the shuffle.

Wilderness needs to be observed in silence and isolation.  Otherwise, it's no longer wilderness.  It's a park.  Or a zoo.  This is the epiphany I had while walking across the wooden bridges over Cold Spring Creek.  Slipping and sliding up the canyon and through the snowy boulder field to the falls.  And loving every minute of it.

But to get that "high" I need to hit the trails in the winter.

And so I bid the wilderness of Oregon a fond farewell as I head back to California for awhile.  We have decided to move up here permanently so we need to tie up some loose ends.  We had to live through a winter first.  See if we could tolerate it.

Evidently, we did!


  1. "I had fallen head over heels in love with Oregon. But I must qualify this: Oregon in the Winter"....

    Very encouraging to read that! Best wishes on your sojourn in Cali...

    1. Happy travels to the both of you, too! See you soon.