Whilst many first time travelers to the Columbia River Gorge make their way to the infamous Multnomah Falls, I find myself just a few clicks down the road to the much less crowded Oneonta trail. Today I search for cooling waterfalls and crystal clear rivers to splash around in under the summer sun.
You have two clear choices of hikes here ; follow the creek bed upriver, or hiking above the gorge. With the water rising to above five feet in some areas and me with no waterproof gear, I choose to go above the gorge.
Forest greens liven my mood the higher I ascend. The water becoming clearer, eventually a transparent looking glass to the life below. I dip my feet into the cool transcendence.
Moss covered boulders beg to be climbed. I slowly make my way up river, cragging and pulling this body ever forward, sometimes slipping and falling backwards into the river. A baptism that clears the cobwebs of a cluttered mind.
A rocky precipice calls me to its edge. I feel death as I venture out, see a vision of an old man clumsily losing his foothold and tumbling over the watery side, crushed upon the rocks below. A deep breath pulls me back.
A few more breaths and I slowly make my way down, wondering about my experience along the Oneonta trail….