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Jay Lake
Date: 2012-06-24 05:52
Subject: [personal|photos] Hiking Tamanawas Falls
Security: Public
Tags:nature, oregon, personal, photos
Yesterday, Team E— and I hiked Tamanawas Falls. This is a trail in the Mt. Hood National Forest, twenty or thirty miles south of Hood River, OR. We did the extended loop, which was a little over five miles, with a net 800 feet of elevation change, but probably double that in actual uphill walking due to varying terrain.

The falls themselves are gorgeous. A sort of punchbowl style cauldron, dropping perhaps eighty feet in a wide curtain. A lot of recent rain meant the river was running high and strong. The area around the falls was doubly soaked with spray and rain, and the rocks covered with moss. I'm still not completely sure on my feet post-chemo, so I didn't approach too closely. I would have loved to be behind the water curtain.

The walk was good but tiring. We were in fifty degree weather with pouring rain almost the entire hike. That Oregon rain that gets through your gear and into your skin and down to your bones. It took me a couple of hours afterward to warm up. I did bang my knee on a rock in one of the landslide sections of the trail, with a slight contusion but no joint pain, so I got off better than I deserved. We also came across a fresh and dangerous trail hazard which we reported to the ranger station down at Parkdale. After that we had a pretty good lunch at Apple Valley BBQ there in Parkdale.

A lovely hike, and a lot of fun, and I'm so glad I'm in the health to do these things these days. Now I just need to improve my trail conditioning.

Note: The following photos aren't up to my usual quality because I had only brought my iPhone on the hike. However, for cell phone photos, they're not bad.

Approaching the falls from downstream

The old trail's footbridge, as demolished by a fairly recent rockslide

Our first view of the falls, more or less

The falls in all their glory

As usual, more at the Flickr set.

Photos © 2012 Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2012-06-24 14:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Just a FYI--realistically, you're more in danger from hypothermia in the 40-50 degree range in PNW forests than most folks realize. It's a big factor in lost and injured hikers in precisely these conditions, more so I think than when it's colder and snowier. There's a reason to wear wool socks and polypropolene/silk base layers when hiking during the wet. A lot of it has to do with attitude because you don't think about hypothermia conditions when the temps are like this--but the combination of cool (not cold) and wet can definitely cause problems.

This kind of weather can get into my bones more and make me ache more than outright cold and snow.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-06-24 14:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You are absolutely right. I was layered up, including wicking fabric against my skin, but in retrospect I wasn't layered up properly.
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2012-06-24 16:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's one of those things that doesn't make a lot of sense to folks unless you've either spent a lot of time in the woods or grown up here (spent too damn much time huddling over a campfire after hours of getting soaked out fishing in a boat in late spring/early summer with the 'rents for my learning curve...which is Why I'm NOT A Boat-Loving Person). Part of growing up rural in the PNW is at least one hypothermic episode as a teen doing stupid stuff in the misty rain at the 50 degree mark and figuring out This Was Not Good.

And yeah, lots of time huddling around fires in the mist as a result.

This time of year and in the mid-fall hunting season after the rains start are the most dangerous times in the woods here, in my opinion. Conditions are changeable and people underestimate their need for warmth because they're basing it on the temperature without realizing how quickly the humidity chills you.

There's a reason why this very point ends up getting belabored to the degree that people tune it out in intro to hiking classes/wilderness survival classes. These very conditions make unprepared hiking in the PNW dangerous.

(The latest accident on Mt. Hood? Inexcusable. Conditions are detailed right there at the damn wilderness hiking registration office in the Wy'East Day Lodge at Timberline. No freaking ice axe when you're climbing to the top? !!!!! Hood kills if you're not ready for it. My years skiing at Timberline have added to, not diminished, my respect for what the Mountain can throw at you when he's in the right mood.)

Do I rant on this point? Um, yeah. I know too many Search and Rescue folks. Been chilled to the bone from early summer hikes/hunting season hikes. I don't want my friends to be amongst the statistics.

Additionally, this is really the time of year to be paranoid about ticks. The only time I've picked up a tick was in conditions like these over a damp Fourth of July in the Blue Mountains.
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User: tillyjane
Date: 2012-06-24 14:34 (UTC)
Subject: tamanawas falls
That was my first hike on Mt Hood, and is still one of my favorites. I like how it follows that rowdy creek all the way up. In dryer weather it is fun to go behind the falls. Good for you guys going there.

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User: ramblin_phyl
Date: 2012-06-24 15:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
One of my most favorite of all the falls. But the getting there is tougher than I like without a lot of advance planning.
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User: mmegaera
Date: 2012-06-25 02:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I believe the operative word is lush. As in there are more shades of green in those photos than you can count.

And the falls looks like a smaller version of Vernal Falls in Yosemite.

Just lovely.
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