Thursday, August 18, 2011

Your Love is Lifting Me Hyer, Part 3

Ben and Laura's wedding was on Saturday, but because we knew we'd want the opportunity to spend plenty of time with the Camping Family and see some of the sights in the Columbia River Gorge, we few into Portland on Wednesday and didn't leave until Monday.

The Bridge of the Gods connects Oregon and Washington near Stevenson. The view from the bridge is spectacular, but is almost enough - if you're not a big fan of heights - to make you throw up. Unfortunately the bars along the sides of the bridge took a little something away from my picture. Fortunately there were bars along the sides of the bridge so we wouldn't plunge to our deaths in the river.

Friday morning we drove first to Horsetail Falls, along Oregon's scenic Highway 30. (We're wearing JACKETS! Can you believe it?! Hallie had all but forgotten what the word jacket referred to.)

After Horsetail Falls we drove on to Multnomah Falls. Despite the motivational literature, we decided to first hike (a pretty easy 1/4 of a mile walk) to the Lower Falls viewing bridge.

"Go ahead, hike on up! Hopefully you won't be hit by falling rock!"

The Lower Falls and the viewing bridge.

And then we decided to hike to the Upper Falls viewing platform (a more challenging one mile hike) as well.

The viewing bridge and the Upper Falls. The viewing platform isn't visible in this picture, but is just to the left of the mouth of the falls.

How Tom and Hallie hiked up the mountain. They chatted, kept a lookout for bananas (Hallie got confused between looking out for banana slugs and looking out for bananas) and "hunted" for pink horses and a brown octopus the entire time.

How Jeff and Lily hiked up the mountain. Lily yelled the entire time.

How Will, Grandma, and Grandpa hiked up the mountain. Grandma held a death grip on Will's hand, and Grandpa hugged the wall.

(In case you're wondering, I carried the camera and the snacks, took turns holding Will's hand, and carried Hallie 2/3 of the way down. She screamed - because she was mad about her Nutrigrain bar breaking in half - in my ear for a long enough period of time that I had to put her in timeout on the side of the mountain. Thing was, I didn't want to take her out of the backpack, so putting her in timeout meant that I had to sit in timeout with her. You're welcome for the entertainment, fellow hikers.)

When all was said and done, only Grandma, Tom, Will, Hallie, and I made it to the Upper Falls viewing platform. (About 4/5 of the way up, Lily fell apart and Sara and Jeff decided to take her back down. Grandpa went with them - he was looking for any reason to get down off that mountain.)

My photo of the falls wasn't very good, so I borrowed these from Adam's Facebook page.

I was incredibly impressed with Will, who hiked the entire 2.5 miles - must be all that working out he's been doing at the gym lately.

Friday evening we attended a bird show on the front lawn of the Skamania Lodge (our hotel/resort). It was the kind of presentation that, as an elementary school child, I would have found bland. But as an adult, it was fascinating. Two professional falconers (until that day I no idea "falconer" was a real profession - I assumed it was just something Saturday Night Live made up for laughs) and their assistant, Buddha. They showed and taught us about a variety of unbelievable owls, falcons, and eagles.

We decided this owl was Lily's kindred spirit because it didn't stop yelling the entire time it was out of its cage. Unfortunately Lily and the owl never got to meet.

Liberty the bald eagle had been rescued, rehabilitated, and released back into the wild three different times. Since Liberty could not survive on his own, eventually the decision was made to keep him at the bird sanctuary and train him to become part of the educational team. Our presentation was only his third outing!

Before his moment in the spotlight, Liberty wore a helmet to prevent him from being frightened or intimidated by the crowd. He looked adorable. And kind of confused.

Without his helmet.

Taking flight.

On Monday morning we visited two different wineries and ate lunch at the Full Sail Brewery near/in Hood River, Oregon. The views were spectacular.

That afternoon we hiked to the peak of Larch Mountain (the hike itself was quite short, but because I had to carry Hallie on my hip, it felt much longer), where, from a lookout platform, you can see five mountains at the same time. Incredible.

Mt. Hood

Mt. Jefferson

Mt. Adams

Mt. Rainier

Mt. St. Helens

My parents; Sara, Jeff, & Lily; and Tom & Will in front of Mt. Hood.

Stay tuned for the fourth and final installment of "Your Love is Lifting Me Hyer", when we finally attend Ben and Laura's wedding!

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