On my last full day in Oregon I had the great fortune of being swooped up by Jenny Bruso, a local hiker and creator of “unlikely hikers” which highlights diversity, inclusion, and visibility in the outdoors. She and her partner Brie took me on a little tour of the Columbia River Gorge.
We were going to hike Beacon Rock but it was closed because a landslide took out part of the trail. So instead she took me to Wahclella Falls. On the way I stared out the window at the impossibily high rock walls along the river coated in green mossed and giant pines with waterfalls streaming off of them.
As we headed up the trail I was completely oblivious to the falls that lay ahead. I was so content to just be walking on a trail on the Gorge among big douglas fur trees and lime green moss next to a raging river with new friends. Then I heard that rumble and we turned a corner and there she was. A massive raging goddess of a waterfall pouring into a bubbling pool of white water and aqua. We watched it rage for a bit and then continued on a small loop until we reached a snow bridge that seemed way too dangerous to pass to we turned back getting another close up of the waterfall.Once back at the car Jenny took me over the Bridge of the Gods which is a bridge where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses the Columbia River from Oregon into Washington. The views were massive and I imagined the emotional overload that might hit PCT thru hikers as they cross into this final northern state. From there we headed east stopping at a pull off where we could walk out into a dock on the Columbia River and have a good view of Beacon Rock.
We headed back to Portland and then Jenny to took me to another one of her spots: Forest Park which is that massive woodlands in Portland. Travis met us and we did a little out and back. The greenery was so…green! Like so bright and electric and lush and alive and like wicked hydrated. Very cool.