Friday, March 9, 2012

Where Julia Went in the Sunshine

Yesterday was one of those splendiferous, magnificent, gorgeomundo, clear-sky-ed, sunny days.

I couldn't stand it.

Well, I couldn't stand NOT being out there in it, that is. So I slathered sunscreen everywhere I could think of, grabbed my trusty Canon, and hopped into Goldie with no particular plan aside from dropping in on Terese at her workplace and harassing her.

Which I did quite well, I think.

As I got back into Goldie, I looked east and knew where I was going to spend the rest of my afternoon: the Gorge. Everyone around here knows that where the Columbia river carves it's way through the Cascade mountains is a little slice of heaven, especially on such a beautiful day.

So Goldie and I headed first for a grande no-whip skinny and sugar free mocha and a tank topped off with premium gasoline. Mmmm. Tasty for both of us. Then began our journey on a loop that would take us east, on the Washington side of the Columbia river.....

 Cape Horn

Well, hello Mr. Canadian Goose. 

....then would send us back on the Oregon side of the river on a scenic highway that winds its way past several waterfalls and yet more eye-popping scenery.

Horsetail Falls

 And, of course, Multnomah Falls. 

My turn-around-and-head-home destination was what has to be the most gorgeous public bathroom that I have ever seen. Called the Vista House, this beautiful stone building perches high up on a cliff overlooking the river. It's open to the public, and yes, there's bathrooms.

Goldie and I had the whole place to ourselves.

Goldie enjoyed the view and a rest. It was hard work getting here.

Would you believe this beautiful bird is probably a turkey vulture?

 Heading back home. 

So, by now you're probably saying to yourself, "Self. I can't believe that Julia actually got through an afternoon expedition like this without doing something stupid!"

And you would be right. She didn't.

Somewhere between Horsetail Falls and the Vista House, as I was walking on a path, this vicious root jumped up out of the ground and tripped me, sending me face-first into the dirt.

Poor Canon went lens first into the dirt, too.

Oh, my gosh. Just look at all that junk stuck in the lens.

Luckily, nobody witnessed my very ungraceful fall, so I didn't have to do the er-I-meant-to-do-that maneuver.  I brushed myself off, took a few experimental pictures with the camera, and decided that we were both just fine.

Good grief. This camera is amazingly indestructible. I wish I were as well made as Canon is.

So I sat there in the dirt, a bit bruised and sore yet bones still largely intact, and thought about what I should do. Was this a sign that I should bail on my photography and sunshine afternoon?

But Goldie, Canon, and I were not to be deterred, and I'm glad that we didn't give up on our adventure. Yes -- I took a spill. Yes -- I was very very tired on my arrival home. Yes -- I was frustrated that simply driving around and snapping a few pictures for a few hours left me weak as a cat. Yes -- I can definitely tell today that I took a tumble by my bruised knees and sore muscles.

But the benefits far outweighed the negatives. Although physically tired, my soul was re-charged. I had the pleasure of being able to not only look at the sunny day, but also to go out into it and enjoy this winter gift of blue skies. Come next week with the return of our usual springtime rain, I can look back on these pictures and smile.

I hope that I never take this beautiful place -- and Goldie and Canon  -- for granted.


Amy Junod said...

First...I'm glad that you're ok. breathtaking the pictures are! That shot of the bridge covered in moss- wow!
Scrolling down viewing each photo I swear I could hear an orchestra playing America the Beautiful.
Oh...and fell with grace.

Ann said...

Truly breathtaking! How long did your drive take?

Julia Oleinik said...

Oh, Amy, me. Unlike YOU, I most certainly did not fall with grace. hehe.

Ann - I'm so lucky that all this beautiful stuff is within an hour's drive. Cape Horn, one of the first pictures, is actually only about twenty minutes away.

Jenny P said...

Yesterday was gorgeous from sea to shining sea - Shawn and I took the opportunity to go to NYC for the day and it was amazing weather! However, after walking miles around the city, I too was ready to collapse.

Glad you got outside and without a sunburn!!!

ShEiLa said...

Miss Julia... you made a strong photo journalistic case as to why we need to retire in the Northwest... close to this.

Thanks for making my day! I love the Columbia River Gorge... I get to visit Seattle in 4.5 weeks... yahoo for me!!!!


ShEiLa said...

ps. we are definitely kindred spirits if we fall with the same ungraceful face plants.

Gill from the other side of the Big Pond said...

Wonderful scenery and those blue skies, I'm so jealous, here in the UK it is grey, murky and miserable, your pictures are spiritualy uplifting. Thanks

Unknown said...

Absolutely beautiful! And add me to the list of people who trip and fall on a regular basis.

FFW said...

Gorgeous photos!

One day, I will actually look at all my "Photography" pins on Pinterest, and learn how my camera works, so I can do the same.