Thursday, December 10, 2009

When Cold is Cool

Rather than let the cold weather get the best of us, Lisa and I decided to take a short journey east this morning while the boys were in school and take in what mother nature had to offer. We climbed into the truck and were met by a very neat display of ice crystals that had formed on the windshield over the previous night. (You can click on the photos to see them in a larger view)

About twenty miles to the north of where we live runs the Columbia river. For the geographically inquisitive, it forms the border between Oregon and Washington. The part of it just to the east of Portland is known as the Columbia River Gorge. As one might imagine, it meanders through the foothills on either side of it forming a deep canyon. It also makes for an incredible wind tunnel that sucks the cold air out of the east and pushes it toward the Portland metro area.

Within the gorge, there are several waterfalls that are all absolutely breathtaking. One of the more famous ones, at least locally, is Multnomah Falls. At 620 feet, it boasts being the second highest year round waterfall in the country. Anyhoodle, we've been there several times during the summer and hiked to the top of it on more than one occasion. Today though, we went there to see it in a completely different view.

With the past few days not getting above freezing, the falls have taken on a spectacular look. combining both the rushing water along with ice that has formed in and around itself. Usually when Multnomah gets this way, the entire Gorge is a mess of snow and ice, making driving through it a challenge at best. This week has been a bit different though. It has been colder than a well diggers butt, but it has also been bone dry. This meant we could travel out there at freeway speeds, but still get to enjoy the beauty of it firsthand.

Now I know some of you live in places where twenty degrees F would feel warm right about now, but to me it is C O L D ! So, I/we donned our long undies, scarfs, jackets, gloves and anything else that would keep us toasty, and headed off on our quest. About an hour later we arrived and were treated to some pretty cool sights. On the short walk up to the bridge, we came across a stream that literally froze in time.

There were probably a hundred or so people in and around the area, and everyone had a camera at the ready. Mine is just a simple pocket sized one, and unfortunately does not do the sights justice. To see it in person was really amazing.

The last shot is of the bridge I spoke of earlier. If you look closely, you'll see a couple of people standing on it. (to the right side) This was about as "empty" as I could manage to get it. I decided to change this one from color to black and white. It seemed to give it a more nostalgic flair.

Hope you all enjoyed this brief journey through Multnomah Falls.


Jay said...

Wow! It's beautiful. Great photos dude.

Dianne said...

the B&W is beautiful!!
and I love the windshield shot too

you two are such romantics, it's so cool

quilly said...

Your photos are wonderful. For the briefest moment you almost made me miss the cold!

We're moving to Friday Harbor permanently come January, so I know I'll be chilly soon!

The Things We Carried said...

Jeff, thank you for your comment. Truly it is my faith that carries me, and the goodness of friends.

I know this sight well! Never have I seen the falls frozen. I must take the drive to see it, before the gorge ices!

Thom said...

Brrrr that looks mighty cold I must say. Multnomah Falls are beautiful. I loved the pictures my friend. Thanks for sharing this. Just wonderful :)

Nessa said...

Beautiful shots. 20 degrees is pretty cold to me. Brrrr.

Flash Dancing

Mel said...

Absolutely breathtaking. Great photos, sir. And oh what an eye full!

Thanks for reminding me of what I was overlooking while I was busy grumbling.

(((((( Jeff )))))))

Dana said...

I'm a huge fan of "the Gorge", and Multnomah Falls? Beautiful no matter what time of year you visit!

Jeff B said...

Jay- Thanks man. Lisa has a "real" camera and was able to capture some really great shots.

Dianne- We like to do things like this to help keep the spark going.

Quilly- Don't worry, a few minutes out in it and you wouldn't miss the cold at all.

TTWC- Do make the trip out there. It's truely worth the journey.

Thom- All I can say is, "Thank God for warm clothes!"

Nessa- I'd much prefer 75, but then again, getting these views wouldn't happen.

Mel- I often grumble about the weather too.

Dana- It really is a beautiful place to visit.

buffalodick said...

Breath taking scenery! I'll try to remember to take a photo of Lake Michigan, when frozen over..that is a sight to see..

San said...

Gorgeous pictures, Jeff. What a COOL day you and Lisa had. But I'm glad you bundled up.


Ron said...

Oh boy…what a great trip!

And at 20 degrees…you KNOW I would be lovin’ it!

You both look so warm and cozy in your jackets, gloves, hats and scarves.

This sounds like my kinda day!

The last photo is breathtaking! Love that you made it black and white!

Thanks for sharing, buddy.


Jeff B said...

Buffalo- I'll bet that is. That's a lot of water to freeze.

San- As are we. Otherwise we'd have been Popsicles.

Ron- You'd have loved it ya warped little puppy!!!!!

nitebyrd said...

Just beautiful! What a great thing to do on a day off. Looks and sounds like an amazing place. Thanks for sharing it!

Susan at Stony River said...

Now that was a drive worth taking!

Your bridge photo is a stunner--they're all beautiful, but WOW.

BJ Roan said...

Looks like a fun winter adventure. The frozen falls is beautiful, and I agree the last picture makes for a perfect mono shot. Those people are surely cold. Brrrr.

Akelamalu said...

Love the photos and the dialogue but that last shot is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!

Jeff B said...

Nitebyrd- It was a great little escape.

Susan- I was pleased with how it came out too. Thanks

BJ- We managed to layer up enough to keep warm, but the minute we peeled off the outer layer it was COLD!

Akelamalu- I think I'm going to print out a copy of that one as an 8x10 and see how it looks.

CrystalChick said...

I love to take day trips with hubby so this was really cool to read about and the pictures are terrific.

Desert Songbird said...

Silly man - many of we Westerners have heard of Multnomah Falls. Gorgeous, but I think I'll pass on the cold, thanks.