New Year's Eve day I needed an outing. I'd been cooped up in the house doing chores the previous day. The weather had been dumping rain since Wednesday. But this day dawned cold and dry. I decided to head to the Gorge with camera and tripod to check out the waterfalls. With all the rain we'd received, I knew they'd be running full and mighty.
Click on any photo to enjoy a larger version
Usually this time of year I'm up on the mountain skiing. But the sparse snow kept me away most of the month. Hood did get a dump of snow the night before, but after such a prolonged drought, I was sure the slopes would be packed with powderhounds. Knowing the mountain would be a zoo, I wisely stayed away.
|The falls in its green grotto|
That's the great thing about Oregon. There is such a wide variety of things to do outdoors - even in the winter. I pointed my car towards the Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway and Latourell Falls.
|Latourell Falls - up close and personal|
Latourell Falls is a spectacular waterfall, plunging 249 over the top of an ancient basalt lava flow. Colorful yellow-green lichen grows on its adjacent rock walls. Latourell's lower bowl is unusual. The rocky grotto forms interesting hexagonal patterns called columnar basalt. Everything is dripping wet and super-green.
|Footbridge adjacent to the splash pool|
You don't have to hike far to access Latourell Falls. It's a short 0.1 of a mile hike from the parking lot to reach the footbridge at the splash pool. All of the recent rainfall had this cascade absolutely roaring. I couldn't get very close without getting doused with spray. I tried to take some close-ups but kept having to wipe water droplets from my camera lens. I did manage to get a couple of nice shots, though.
|Downstream from Bridal Veil Falls|
After Latourell, I decided to check out Bridal Veil Falls. This waterfall was flowing so full, that it was hard to capture a good shot. The sheer amount of white was throwing off my exposure. So instead of the falls, I concentrated on getting shots of the creek below.
|Roaring creek full of rainfall|
The adjacent forest was scenic, even without any leaves. The mossy rocks added some character.
My final stop was at Wahkeena Falls. But this area was so full of people, I couldn't get a decent photo without someone walking in front of my lens. So I gave it up for the day. Sorry, no photos from Wahkeena.
But I did manage to get a couple of nice images of flowing water that I've posted here for you to enjoy. And it was wonderful to be outside on a dry winter's day!