Sunday, September 13, 2015

Day 11- Oneonta Gorge

Knowing the night before that the hottest part of the day was to be around 1:00pm; we knew there was no rush come morning. I woke up a little before 8:00 and got up shortly after to prepare for the morning ritual. I wanted eggs, but not the heaviness of the bagel carb diet I've been on; I decided to try and hard boil an egg in my Jetboil. Typically, when you hard boil eggs; you place them in the water cold. Boil for 5 minutes, remove from heat, let sit for around 12 minutes and then run under cold water. I decided to boil the egg cold until boiling point which is rather quick in the Jetboil and then let it sit. I let it sit for awhile before deciding to try and peel the shell away. When I did, everything looked good up until I got to the gooey white-ish part; damn! I can't throw it back in the water with part of the shell peeled, and I didn't want to waste it. I debated eating what I could of it, but Anna advised I just boil another egg. I did as I was told, and boiled a little longer in the Jetboil before letting it sit. I was nervous to peek into it, when she told me to spin it on the table; if it spins it's good, if it wobbles it's not ready. Seemed to spin fine, I peeled away the shell and it was cooked; perfectly! Phew! I enjoyed the egg, a banana, and some craisins; maybe I should start a Jetboil cook book, not only for boiling water! We got on our way and drove towards Multnomah Falls, first coming to Horsetail Falls along the Columbia River Byway road that ran along the interstate. The falls was right off the main road so we parked to grab a few shots before moving on further down the way. We drove past the trailhead for the Gorge hike we would be doing later, and eventually ended up at an overpopulated area where the Multnomah Falls were located. Cars were parked all along either side of the road, and in the parking lot. We parked on the side of the road, and walked over to join the groupings of people making their way to the falls. The first sight of it is only a few hundred feet down a paved walkway, you see the falls as well as the bridge in the foreground with people on the bridge off into the distance. We walked further up the paved path to reach the bridge and take our turn taking photos. As we exited the falls, a rather rude woman with two Tibetan Mastiffs thought she should have the right away to anyone and everyone around here because of her dogs, next time leave them at home please. Theres a time and a place for dogs, and an overly crowded waterfall was not one of them. We got to the sign for the falls where I wanted to grab a quick photo; there were four men taking a photo, no big deal. That was before they decided to switch between 4 different cameras and orientation of one another; can't you just send the photos to one another? About 5 minutes later, I took 5 seconds to snap two photos and we were on our way back to the car. I wanted to hike some trails since I didn't quite count that paved walk as a hike, Anna didn't want to do the 2.4 mile hike at the Gorge trailhead so we settled on driving to Beacon Rock where our neighbors advised we hike up and check out. It would be about a 40 minute drive from where we were; but it was towards our campground since we had to go over the Bridge of the Gods to get to it. We paid the $1.00 toll to cross the bridge which was PCT grounds and even saw a hiker to our left as we drove over. We got to the parking for the trailhead of Beacon Rock and noticed you needed a special parking pass which cost $10! Both deciding the hike was not worth the ten dollars we got back in the car and headed right back to the Columbia River Byway to hike the Gorge. We didn't really know where the actual trail was since we knew we would be hiking up the river. The river was the trail. After a few websites online explaining where to start, we got ourselves together and decided to check it out. We parked to the East of the bridge and walked down to the water from there, the water was just shoe deep here so the icey water passed through the holes in my Crocs. We walked on before we saw the large logjam before us. We knew what we were getting into, it was just unreal to see. There were hundreds of trees fallen to create a dam and we were to hike over it. We shrugged our shoulders and began climbing like the rest of the people before and ahead of us. I watched as I saw people coming back, soaked up to their stomachs. It was like a playscape for adults and it reminded me of the complex configuration of hiking Mahoosuc Notch in Maine on the AT. We passed under and over logs, and balanced our way to the end where we hopped off in ankle deep water. We continued up creek with everyone else and the water level differed from shoe deep to shin deep; before we reached the blue/green tinted pool. I watched as people waded through the deep waters trying not to get completely wet, I took my phone out of the side pocket of my backpack and held that in my right hand, with my camera high in my left. The water was freezing, it was numbing parts of my legs, but it was exciting nonetheless. I carefully chose each step on loose rocks beneath me before exiting the deep part. The bottom of my pack got a little wet around the waistband but otherwise it wasn't that bad, my shirt was wet up to my bellybutton. The hard part was over and the falls were in sight and it was a beautiful sight at that. There was another deep pool where the base of the falls fell and people were swimming within it. There were a few dogs shaking from the cold and barking at their owners portraying they wanted to head back. We stood taking photos for a few minutes enjoying the beauty of this hidden waterfall. We walked back the same way we came; back through the deep lagoon, and on to the logjam. This time around it was a lot easier to get over the obstacle. I watched as new-goers stared at my wet clothing thinking the same thing I did earlier. We walked out of the riverbed and back to the road soaking wet, luckily it was in the high 80's today so it wasn't that bad at all; just uncomfortable. I switched my shorts when we got to the car, and felt much better. Not realizing how hungry we were, we went back to camp to cook up a late lunch. On the way we stopped at a roadside sign we had read for a couple days now, "Fresh fruit, pears, huckleberries, and peaches" we walked up and saw all of the beautiful fruit laid out in plates. The guy behind the table let us sample all types of pears before asking how much it would be for a mixed fruit bowl as opposed to the all one kind plates he had displayed. He grabbed a plate, started placing plums, pears, and peaches on; probably around 14 pieces of fruit or so and said, $5.00. It was the best $5 I have ever spent. We browned up some kielbasa, onion, (orange pepper for me) and avocado paired with a Redds; now this was camping! I put on some music on my phone and thoroughly enjoyed my lunch. I knew I should catch up on the blog at this point, but was feeling pretty drained. I decided to take a walk over to the island and have some recuperation time; I spotted a square wooden platform with a woman sitting atop and thought; I wish I could join here though if that were me, I wouldn't want someone interrupting my time. I walked on, and found a big rock with a beautiful view of the water and mountains; I sat on top before deciding this would be the perfect opportunity to sit and meditate, so I did. The sun warmed my face, and it was a much needed revitalizing opportunity; which I felt relaxed by the view as I opened my eyes. After taking a few minutes, I walked back over to camp where I felt unaware with what to do with myself. I still didn't have the desire to write, and it was still a little too early for dinner; I decided to shower. I took a nice refreshing shower and felt better after. We cooked dinner which consisted of the rest of the kielbasa, onion, (orange pepper for me), and zucchini in some ramen noodle which I added some Sweet Baby Ray BBQ sauce to; oh and of course a Redds to wash it down with. It was a beautiful evening as the sun set over the opposing mountains and a fine night to again sleep with the rainfly off of the tent.

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