Okay, let’s jump back a few weeks to a time when there was still snow on the ground. It’s hard to imagine a time when it was cold enough to have snow, as I sit here on our balcony in shorts and a tank top. We have had 3 solid weeks of awesome, sunny, 70-degree or higher weather, which is like sweet, sweet heaven with no humidity. Of course, I’m freezing as soon as I step out of direct sunlight, but we’re taking baby steps here, people.
Anywho, snow. A few weeks ago, in an attempt to spend some quality time together (which has been a bit limited as of late), we drove into the Cascade Mountains to visit Sahalie Falls. I think the temperature was around 50 degrees in Eugene that day, so as we drove up into the mountains, it dropped below freezing, making me very happy that I was living by my Oregon motto: Always. Bring. Layers. Always.
It’s a beautiful (and long) drive on the McKenzie Highway from Eugene to the mountains, passing through some tiny towns with lots of farms and orchards. Every time we make this drive, I wonder where all of these people do their grocery shopping. Where do they buy their peanut butter? What do they do if they run out of shampoo in the middle of the week? Especially those folks who live within the Willamette National Forest. The closest store has to be an hour away.
Anywho, eventually the McKenzie Highway leads to a parking lot for the falls. From the parking lot, it’s a really short walk to Sahalie Falls, which is a serious waterfall. It was mostly impressive in terms of the volume of water it was pounding down into the McKenzie River. Incredible. From the falls, we followed a snow covered path alongside the McKenzie. I wish that the pictures accurately portrayed the incredible turquoise color of the water. It made the water look ridiculously cold (which I’m sure it was, as it’s full of snow melt), but so beautiful! I told Eric that I wanted to make jewelry out of that water. Luckily, people have already figured out the whole turquoise jewelry thing, so there’s no need for me to bottle the river and attempt to make it into stones. Phew.
The river continued to rush along (seriously, I have no idea how any fish could survive in water moving that fast and hard) to a second waterfall, Koosah Falls, which was a little less impressive, but still beautiful. If it weren’t such a long drive, this would be a lovely place to enjoy a picnic while listening to the sounds of crashing water.
Were the waterfalls worth the 3-hour roundtrip? Maybe not. But they were beautiful. And if we had the time to turn the visit into a longer hike, I’d say it would’ve been a bit more enjoyable. But if you’re already headed toward the mountains (say, to visit Tamolitch Falls), it’s definitely worth a visit.
And allow me to admit that I had to go inside and get a blanket while writing this post, as the wind started blowing on our shaded balcony, making it seem so much colder than 73 degrees out here. I’m forever a wimp.