|A helpful warning on the trail|
The first day was spent catching up on Christmas shopping. But when I learned there'd be a second day, I considered this a bonus. And in my book, bonus days are not to be spend doing chores! Knowing the Gorge was still frozen, I grabbed my camera, and headed back to check out some more waterfalls.
|Bridal Veil Falls|
The first stop in my bonus day trip was Bridal Veil Falls. A short hike down a steep, switchbacking path leads visitors to a stunning viewpoint. Although the day was much warmer than it had been during my first visit, I still encountered icy spots on the trail. One person who came before me was nice enough to write a warning on the frost-covered path.
|Icicles at the base of Bridal Veil Falls|
Although some of the ice had now melted, Bridal Veil Falls was still mighty stunning. A double cascade, with an upper and lower tier, the surrounding frosty vegetation made it look like a bridal gown's lacy train.
|Partially frozen creek|
And the icy creek below was just as scenic.
|Frozen water sculptures|
I spent more time taking pictures of the unique ice shapes in the creek. There were some cool subjects!
|Looking upriver towards the falls|
But I didn't want to spend all my day here....there were other waterfalls to see. After about an hour I headed back up the path.
|Frosty downriver view|
My plan was to hit Wahclella Falls next. One of the few waterfalls I hadn't visited on my recent Fall Gorge Waterfall tour, I figured it was due. But on the return trail from Bridal Veil Fall, I ran into a lady I knew. She told me some friends had recommended Elowah Falls. Apparently this waterfall in its frozen state was pretty amazing.
|Icicles line the trail to Elowah Falls|
So a change in plans! I pointed my car toward Elowah Falls instead. Hiking in, I got a glimpse of things to come, when I noticed these large icicles hanging over the trail.
|Icy Elowah Falls|
As you may remember, I visited Elowah Falls earlier in November. Well, what a difference a few weeks, and a few degrees drop in temperature makes!
|Spray at Elowah Falls base makes interesting patterns|
The entire rocky amphitheater was coated in white frost. Huge icicles clung to cliffs high above. The bridge below was coated in layers of ice. And, best of all, in the area directly below the falls, was an enormous cone of bluish ice.
|Below the "ice cone" at Elowah Fall's base|
This cone at the fall's base looked like a big ice volcano. Apparently, it had been growing throughout the week of freezing weather. Each drop of water hitting the base helped create another layer of ice, building it higher.
|The bridge was caked with ice|
Although I wanted to get closer, one thing held me back. The day's temperatures finally reached above the freezing point, and everything was melting. Icicles intermittently came crashing down from the cliffs above. Huge chunks of ice dislodged and hit the waterfall's base with a loud roar. I didn't want to be anywhere nearby!
|Another look at the "ice volcano"|
Luckily, I could still get a nice view of the falls without risking my life. Slipping on my trusty microspikes, I stepped out into the icy, white world.
|Ice crusted fern|
Elowah is a very tall waterfall. At 289 feet, that's a lot of water dropping down. As it falls, the spray travels a long ways. The waterfall's influence line was very apparent - anywhere you saw white frosty ice. And the misty droplets froze on everything - rocks, trees, leaves, even the ferns.
|Admiring the view from the bridge|
I ventured over to the ice-encased bridge and took in the views. It was a great (but safe) place to observe the waterfall's bottom and get a close-up look at it's incredible icy cone. It was also the perfect spot to capture a couple selfies!
|Checking out the bridge icicles|
By the next weekend, temperatures had warmed up above freezing, and much of the Gorge ice was on the melt. I was so thankful for the opportunity to take another trip and see some more frozen waterfalls before they were gone. Glad I spent my surprise day off on the trail, doing something fun.
Because that's what bonus days are for.
P.S. You have until December 30th to enter my calendar giveaway.
Sharing with: Weekly Top Shot.