“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”
― Henry David Thoreau,
Seasons have changed, the months have rearranged – and I’m still trying to catch my breath so I can convert thoughts to syllables and ideas to writable action. When I took my part time publicity position back in the Spring, I had little to no actual idea what I was actually asking of myself. Go after your dream job, they said; it’ll be worth it to do both, they said. At times, it feels like I’m taking two steps forward and one step backwards; at other times, I remember that I’m not a pawn – I’m a queen who can roam the board of life as she pleases. For me, this has been a year of evolution, transformation and change – for everything I’ve lost, the world has given back in spades, whether that means I’m actively pursuing friendships with a more solid selection of souls, or a career based on what I passionately believe in.
So, here I am – almost five months later, warped by wanderlust and exhausted beyond expectation, wondering if the means justified this end. The short answer is that they did; the long of it, is well, long. But when the adventure is about the journey and not the destination, it’s important to note that the journey has been a fantastic romp through this ruckus called life. I have so many stories locked in my mind, so many riddles yearning to be solved while I sift through memories like an hourglass – I’ve been waiting to break myself open and spill all.
At the end of July, I had a debilitating bout with my dilapidated car (which included, but wasn’t limited to: a broken axle, two new tires, new brakes, a new battery and a faulty transmission), which turned into a catalyst for anti-social behavior. I’d been feeling down and further than out, especially when I had to break several longstanding plans – including attending a wedding of a childhood friend so once the car was finally fixed, getting out of town and into the bold, beautiful outdoors seemed like the only solution. Though our sights were set on Shambhala, we were equally excited to travel off the beaten path and see what there was to see on our way. Last year on our drive, we admired Oregon’s Multnomah Falls from afar – but this year, we’d made it a mission to see it up close and personal – and man, was it ever worth it!
Located about two hours from my family in Corvallis but less than 45 minutes East of Portland in Oregon, Multnomah Falls sits on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge and relieves itself into Benson Lake. The tallest waterfall in Oregon, Multnomah Falls is a year round, two tiered waterfall that measures in at a magnificent 620′ between the upper and lower falls. For those that are feeling a little frisky, you can even take a quick quarter-mile jaunt over the Benson Bridge and get an up close and personal view of the falls from the footpath – or try your endurance and hike your way to the top for a birds eye view of the Columbia! If you are among the daring that do, you’ve just marched over a mile – and you conquered the first part of the 6.5 mile Larch Mountain Trail.
Back in 1915, Philanthropist and Entrepreneur Simon Benson loaned the City of Portland the nearly $6000 necessary to purchase Multnomah Falls and build the bridge sitting at 105′. Ask any of my friends, I’m beyond terrified of heights – but with a bridge as cemented and sturdy as that, I felt safe beyond belief…as long as I stayed with one hand on the railing and did my best to not look down.
Built in 1925 by the City of Portland to encourage tourism, the Multnomah Falls Lodge sits plush at the bottom of Larch Mountain. Not only is the venue documented on the National Register of Historic Places but it provides a wonderful deviation from your road trip complete with snacks, coffee and all the touristy knick-knacks you could dream of. If you’re in the area tomorrow, September 9th, Multnomah Falls and her sister waterfall Wahkeena are celebrating a century as a public park in the Lodge plaza – head on down and join in on the memories!
“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.”
― Terence McKenna