Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lewis and Clark and I

On Friday I drove from Seattle—where I had been in a training class—to Portland—where I visited with friends. On Saturday, I drove in the rain along the Columbia River, past fishermen anchored mid-stream and up to the Columbia River Gorge to Multnomah Falls.

I stopped in the parking area between the east and west freeway lanes, and I parked my car facing the spectacular falls. What a view. It was raining, but I thought to myself, “What would Louis and Clark do in my situation?” and so I got out of the car and went over to stand in the tourist information gazebo. Drinking in the view, I saw a walkway under the eastbound freeway lane inviting me to a restaurant on the other side, so I braved the elements and went nearer the falls. There, near the restaurant, was a sign informing me that if I were to walk along the trail for 0.2 miles, I could reach the bridge above, where there would no doubt be a stunning view. So, I walked in the rain past beautiful moss-covered trees until I reached the bridge. It was a postcard view. The water fell from above into the pool below causing explosions of mist. The stream rushed below and cascaded down another fall.
A lady came up the trail with four small boys, futily telling them to stay out of the mud. She also stopped to admire the view, but with four small boys in one’s charge, admiring scenery has to be done quickly when standing on a narrow bridge above a raging stream. Small boys are attracted to water, no matter where it is or what it is doing. They left after about ten seconds. I stood and admired the waterfall for another couple of minutes, watching water fall from the top to the bottom. Then, I looked at the trail ahead. The sign below had informed me that if I were to walk from the bridge another 0.8 miles, I would reach the top of the waterfall. So I thought to myself, “What would Louis and Clark do in my situation?” and I figured that they would say, “It’s raining. Let’s head back to the car.” So that’s what I did.

I’ve seen Multnomah Falls. It was spectacular. Now I can check it off my list of things everyone needs to do before they die.

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