Mother Nature and the weather have conspired to make this fall one of the most colorful in recent memory. It’s so beautiful I almost can’t stand it. I’ve been taking a lot of pictures so I can remember this on gray winter days.
DH and I went for a short hike at Wahclella Falls yesterday; the trail re-opened in August; it had been closed since the Eagle Creek fires in September 2017. Still beautiful, and worth the wait.
Munra Falls at the beginning of the Wahclella Falls Trail
At the beginning of the summer, I put Punchbowl Falls on my short list of must do hikes. I love waterfall hikes, but summer slipped away from me. No matter. September is perfect hiking weather here in Oregon.
This is about 4 miles, easy hiking. It begins at the Eagle Creek trailhead at exit 41 on I-84 in the Columbia River Gorge.
There’s a short spur trail about 1.5 miles in that goes to a view of 100 foot Metlako Falls. Pretty!
Punchbowl Falls falls (ha!) into a shallow area that is very popular in the summer. I waited for people to get out of my picture…
Lower Punchbowl Falls empties into a deeper pool. The water below is a gorgeous greeny blue color. (See all the tiny people up by the upper falls?)
My friend V was my hike/photobomb pal.
There is no westbound freeway access from exit 41 to return to Portland post-hike; you have to go east to Cascade Locks and turn around. While we were there, we went to Thunder Island Brewing and tried the pear cider from HR Ciderworks. Great cider, great view.
We headed back west for a stop in Troutdale and dinner with V’s dad at the iconic Tad’s Chicken & Dumplings. I love that they never fixed their sign. Chic, indeed!
On to knitting! The winner of the first week’s prize drawing for the Snowy Woods KAL is getting this in the mail:
Tiny scissors, tiny tree stitch marker, and some fun HiyaHiya yarn needles. Congratulations to Kelli! Kelli has finished her cowl already, and so has one other knitter. These are quick, addictive knits, perfect for gift-giving. It’s not too late to join the KAL; we still have 2 more weeks of prizes, and a finishers’ drawing, too. Check out the Ravelry thread for more info.
September was hugely rainy, and I was mourning the lack of closure to a spectacularly beautiful summer. October brought back clear skies, but cooler temperatures. I’ve been deadline knitting/designing non-stop for the past month, and feeling the need to get outdoors before the rain returns! I wanted to re-do the waterfall hike we took in July, because the twin waterfalls were a little lacking in water then. Susan and I headed there on Monday, but at the last minute I opted for the Horsetail Falls loop instead, because Pony Tail Falls is more dramatic. Same exit on the freeway, turn right instead of left! The Columbia River Gorge has many options.
The hike begins at Horsetail Falls. I used to come here a lot in the summers when the kids were little. They’d play in the splash pool; it’s nature’s air conditioning.
The trail goes upwards along five switchbacks, and then levels out. About half a mile in is Pony Tail Falls.
I love this one, because you can go behind it.
Further along the way is Middle Oneonta Falls.
We met a couple hikers who encouraged us to take a side trip to Triple Falls. This one has been on my list for the last two years, so we did it. It was an extra 1.6 miles out and back from the trail we were on.
Spectacularly beautiful! It was definitely worth the trip.
Can you see the two hikers at the top of the falls? I think they had to cross over on that log. I am not so adventurous.
The moss was really lush; this tree looks like a mossy spider.
Flowers? No, just bloomed out mushrooms.
Four waterfalls on a four mile hike, a great afternoon in the Columbia River Gorge. We’re lucky to live so close to so much beauty. And on the way home, we made a quick stop at Multnomah Falls.
Now I’m back to working on a new design project. Can I just say that I love giant graph paper?
Charts are fabulous. Do you prefer charted instructions, or line by line? What are you knitting now? Are you ready for fall?
I bound off Saturday night. Blocking to follow. (And I wish I could capture the awesome super-saturated bright blue-undertoned green of this, but I’ve tried, and apparently I can’t.)
Cathy sent me this picture Saturday night. She’s on her last repeat. This color is called Madge. Love it!
I saw Claudia at church yesterday. She bound off Saturday, too. I offered to block for her. Pictures soon!
You may think that I’m just sitting at home knitting, cooking and jamming, but it’s not so. We went for a family hike in the Columbia River Gorge on Saturday. The weather was spectacular, and so were the views. I think that’s the peak of Mt. Adams across the river in Washington.
The destination Saturday was Upper McCord Creek Falls. These are twin waterfalls, but the one on the left is just a trickle at this time of summer.
I saw a picture from early June, when both were full, on this hiker’s site. Maybe next year.
A pipe that used to carry water down to a sawmill, long ago.
We stood looking out over this ravine, watching hawks ride the thermals. They spiraled upward without flapping their wings. We also saw swallows? swifts? flitting about. Much more work for them. So cool to be above, looking down on the hawks. And I love how you can see that the gorge is laid down in strata over time.
I’m not sure what the function of this is. A pipe goes in from the back, and it’s overflowing at the top and leaking at the side. But it’s cool looking. It’s right at the trailhead.
I’m trying to work on more than one project at a time, but so far it’s just not in me.
I re-finished the sleeves on the Raspberry Vodka Lemonade, and they’re perfect. It was worth ripping them both back. I took the lazy way out and only re-blocked the sleeve ends. Modeled shot later, when there’s a photographer around. And see the freshly washed roving in the bag? It’s in the queue.
I’m knitting almost exclusively on the Blueberry half Pi shawl. I was going to knit this on my beloved Lantern Moon ebony circulars, but I quickly found that I needed a pointier tip to work with laceweight yarn. Lorajean let me borrow her HiyaHiya sharps, and that seemed to do the trick, so I bought my own.
But metal needles are soooooo slippery for this loose knitter! After tinking 600 stitches because I kept messing up the tink, I am back on track. I wonder if I’d have a better time with sharp wooden or bamboo needles to reduce the slip factor, but I don’t want to switch now in case it changes my gauge. I’m 100 rows in and not going back, thank you very much.
This isn’t really much to look at yet, but I know that blocking will transform this duckling into a beautiful swan.
I do need to set this down and get a few other things going, but I’m not very good at juggling projects. We shall see…
What else is going on? Summer has arrived, today, threatening to hit 100 degrees. It’s the first time we’ve been over 90 this year. I’m hanging out inside, in the A/C. But yesterday I took a jaunt down the Old Columbia River Highway with a friend, and we stopped at several waterfalls. All except Ponytail Falls are right on the highway, so it’s a very scenic drive.
Oneonta Gorge. No photo; the end of the gorge isn’t particularly picturesque.
Ponytail Falls (see Pattie under the rock overhang?):
We heard rustling in the foliage, and saw this little guy:
For all of you baking in the heat across North America, here’s a little refreshment at Wahkeena Fails!
And I am finally (!) sending out my handmade pay-it-forward goodies. I made them last night, and liked them so much I made one for myself, too. I hope that Susan, Rebecca, and Denise enjoy their handmade gifts, and wonder if they were more timely in mailing theirs out than I was! I haven’t received mine from Mimi yet, so I know that I’m not the only one falling behind.
How are you keeping cool? Can you stand to knit with wool?