White River Falls Tygh Valley, Oregon

Sometimes the hardest step in an adventure is the first step. That step that pulls you from the warmth and comfort and safety of your bed into the world where anything can happen. This was the very real struggle for us on the morning of this adventure, and it took a lot to get it together enough to make that step.

It has been raining heavily in Portland for about 10 days and there isn’t an end in sight. It’s cold, everything is damp, the holiday’s are… well, the holidays- which creates it’s own dichotomy between going to every party known to man and hiding under your sheets from yet another attempt to make Jingle Bells a good song.

But we did it anyway, because we’ve committed to us (and you!) to get out once a week, for an entire year. Also, we wanted breakfast.

On the drive out east we spotted some fog/mountain situations that really hit home, and reminded us why we go out as mush as possible.

White river falls-misty clifs-9805

It was a long drive to White River State Park, and it was a short hike, but we didn’t let that stop us from loving the experience. Getting there is sometimes just as beautiful as being there, and this was no exception.

White river falls-cows-9857

White river falls- Foggy hills -9993

We knew going in that the falls wasn’t down a long path, and it wouldn’t take much to get there. We’ve both been reflecting on this, and why we were underwhelmed with the falls. The falls are a short 1/4 mile walk from the parking area and they consist of a 2-tier falls system.

There are a number of reasons why we may have not loved seeing them, but the main one seems to be that we didn’t have to earn it. When you walk right up to something and look at it, there’s no sense of accomplishment for getting there.

On our other adventures we had to walk uphill through the mud, rain and/or snow in freezing weather. That weaves in a sense of pride for accomplishing  “making it”, and that’s what was lacking for us on this part of the trip. If you’re around Tygh Valley, by all means check, but we wouldn’t make this a destination.

Our trip didn’t stop there. Since we were directly between BFE and the Middle of Nowhere, we decided to try out night photography. This is a challenge on it’s own, and we won’t bore you with the details (unless you want to know) but we got some great shots.

After exploring Tygh for a little bit, we headed off to Maryhill Stonehenge (replica). We have to give a credit to Columbia for making the best warm jackets money can buy. Trust us, 20 degrees and windy, combined with standing around waiting for a camera to take a long exposure could have been a lot less fun. Maryhill Stonehenge is located across the Columbia in Washington. If we hadn’t stopped for gas, we would have completely missed this opportunity. Lately, we have been fiddling the idea of night sky photography. So, what better time to try than the first night of the gemini meteor shower?

Maryhill Stonehenge 2-9931

White river falls-milkyway 2-0119

Needless to say, we still have a lot to learn… Such as, never forget your heavier tripod… But we’d like to say it was a first attempt success!

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