I think we might be experiencing the mildest, sunniest, happiest winter in the history of Portland. While I’d love some snow and real winter weather, I’m not going to complain about 65 degree days in the sun. (Naturally, as I am actually writing about this wonderful weather, it’s been raining for three days straight.)
The perfect weekend weather took us on a full day’s adventure of food and hiking. We started the day, as everyone headed east of the city should, at Pip’s Original, where we introduced Liz and Pat, our adventure companions for the day, to the cutest tiny donuts in all the land. You can always tell how nice the weather is by how many people are walking around town on a Saturday, and this particular day was so nice that we had to eat our tiny donuts out of a box on the edge of the sidewalk. Sunshine = happiness = large crowds for donuts.
After reaching our sugar quota for the morning, we drove to the Columbia River Gorge, where we hiked to Dry Creek Falls. The actual hike wasn’t terribly exciting, but it was super easy. There’s hardly any elevation change over the 4.4 miles (round trip), and the hike takes place almost entirely in the woods. We were kind of bummed by the lack of views along the way since it was such a gorgeous day, but once you get to the waterfall, it’s well worth the not-so-exciting walk in the woods. And don’t be fooled by the name; Dry Creek Falls was full of water.
After the hike, we were driving home along the Columbia River, and the whole thing was covered in fog. It almost looked like the river was frozen over and covered in snow. We think it must have happened because the water was so cold and the air was so warm, but no matter the science, it was beautiful. We couldn’t find a spot to pull over high above the water, but we joined a group of other folks photographing the fog down by the river.
To get to the Dry Creek Falls trailhead, take I-84 east of Portland to Exit 44 (Cascade Locks). Follow signs to the Bridge of the Gods. There will be a wooded park on your right, just before you would cross the bridge. Park there, or along the road if the parking lot is full. Northwest Forest Pass required. The trail begins across the road to the south, passing under I-84.