Multnomah Falls


I could see Multnomah Falls from I-84 as we drove to our campground at Cascades Locks in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon (the state of Washington is across the river) on our way back from Portland. I also saw the parking lot between the west and east bound lanes of the highway but we were too tired to stop. It is a tall waterfall, the tallest in Oregon, beautiful from a distance but I’m still learning how to photograph water falls (interpretation: I never feel like I’ve captured the power and beauty of them). I wanted to see it, but I wasn’t sure I could photograph it.

We took a day off from visiting great-grandkids to rest and do a little site-seeing on our own. My husband wanted to visit the Bonneville Dam and I chose Multnomah Falls.


There are two falls and according to Native American lore the falls were created to win the heart of a young princess who wanted a private place to bath. The Natives who lived in this region were Chinookan.

To get to the falls, we walked through something like a subway tunnel, under the two east lanes and a railway track.


The railway operated a stop at this site from 1884 until WWII using a timber bow-string truss bridge spanning the falls in the same location as the foot bridge. A lodge was built on this site, completed in 1925. It is a beautiful lodge that originally provided rooms and dining. According to Wikipedia the building was designed in the “Canadian” style, using cut limestone blocks laid irregularly, with a steep pitched gabled roof with cedar singles. It is rustic – like its setting but also very elegant.

I didn’t take many photos, instead sitting on a bench looking up at the falls, lost in a time long past. I thought about the steam locomotives chugging into the station and the type of people who were eager to live on the edge and/or had the means to do so in that era. When I processed my photos, the only option was Lightroom Color Preset “aged photo”. For this brief period of time I enjoyed a journey into romanticism.

Chutes Provincial Park

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I was surprised by the number of water falls we found as we traveled along the eastern side of Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada. We had endured over a week of rainy weather that had a silver lining as the water falls were swollen.

Is I felt the mighty power of the water, all I could think of was canoeing to this “gentle” fall,

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only to see this just feet away.

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Of course it would have been expected because the roar of the water could be heard a great distance away. I was in awe of the mighty and powerful view in front of me as we stood on the observation deck, but what my eyes were drawn to was the beauty of the simple in nature.

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Is nature ever simple?

Whoa, Close Enough

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Alaska doesn’t have a shortage of beautiful waterfalls, and we saw plenty in the small area we sailed. This one is depositing fresh water into Endicott Arm, west of Dawes Glacier.

I am intrigued by scale. Taking this in portrait mode gives an idea of how high this rock face is, and how far the water is dropping. It is a beautiful example of the rock walls of a fiord. Even though I know the mountains are huge, these falls still look like small ribbons of water cascading down the rock.

Captain Ron maneuvered the Island Spirit up close, and it was only from this perspective that I could appreciate how much water was flowing from the upper snow fields. People who live here year around said they had a small snow fall this past winter so many of these water falls will probably dry up during parts of the summer – at least until the late summer rains begin.

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This is First Mate Tommy (who wants to own a boat and be captain some day soon), guiding the captain as he moves the bow as close to the falls as he can. When the engines were cut, Tommy and Courtney leaned way over to fill pitchers so we could have a taste.

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If you look at the back of Courtney’s shirt, you will see that this isn’t the first pitcher to be filled. This was her first week on the ship and I think a little initiation rite took place. ¬†Courtney may have revenge on her mind.

Moving close to the falls made it possible for me to appreciate how the course of the water shifts and turns to mold around the carved rock face. I was in awe of how the water spread itself over the smooth surfaces. One of nature’s beautiful duets.

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I could see myself spending many hours lying in a chaise lounge watching the water forming itself over the rocks – but alas there was no dry flat spot available and Captain Ron was looking at his watch because he was concerned about getting to Ford’s Terror for that 15 minute window.