Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hiking to Ponytail Falls

I really wanted to go out and take pictures yesterday, so I looked around on the internet and chose to go to Ponytail Falls in The Columbia River Gorge near Multnomah Falls. (I really needed the practice of shooting waterfalls and by the pictures you'll see that I need even more. I was very disappointed by how they turned out.)

We took the Historic Hwy past Multnomah Falls, past Horsetail Falls, and past Oneonta Gorge. The drive was so unbelievably beautiful. Right off the Hwy was Multnomah Falls then a little ways down the road, again right off the Hwy is Horsetail Falls. These are huge waterfalls. It was just amazing. So we kept driving past these beautiful falls and discovered we went too far and had to turn around. The directions I got from the internet apparently sucked, so we decided to pull over at The Oneonta Gorge and sight see. The trail was crappy and there was a log jam preventing us from going any further, but I took a few pictures of the area.

Then we drove down the Hwy past Horsetail Falls, to the Oneonta Falls Trails thinking that is where we would find Ponytail Falls. So we hike to what I later find out is Oneonta Middle Falls.

By the time Anson and I reach it, the 3 boys are nowhere in site. There are lots of trails leading to different waterfalls on this hike and we didn't even know which way the boys went. It was so frustrating. We ALWAYS tell them to stay where we can see them....but they never listen. So once Anson and I get to Oneonta Middle Falls, he tells me to go ahead and find the falls I came looking for and he'll take the other trail and see if the boys went that way. I proceed up the trail and a couple of minutes later I see all three boys heading back down the trail to where I am. I try to call Anson to let him know but I didn't have cell service. Anyway, I told the boys what happened and they start making their way in the opposite direction of me to "go find" their dad. They wanted to separate from me again to go get lost again. Sorry, that doesn't work for me. I let Anson Jr. go and made Ammon and Ashton go with me. They weren't happy, but neither was I. We walk, and walk and walk and this trail seems never ending! The internet told me it was only going to be .8 of a mile from the trail head and I swear that we have been walking for 4 miles. That's not very far, but when you do it mostly up hill on a crappy, rocky trail that winds and curves...it seems like forever!

So finally, we reach Ponytail Tails Falls and it was so beautiful and LOUD. It's really cool because the trail actually goes under the falls.

Ammon and Ashton sitting under the falls.

Panoramic of Ponytail Falls.

I wanted to stay there and enjoy it more then I did, but the Anson's had band practice that night and it was getting late. I asked somebody at the falls if the trail circled back around because there was NO WAY I was going back the way I came. He said there was a parking lot not too far from the falls and pointed me in the right direction. Sure enough .8 of a mile it brought us down to the parking lot in front of Horsetail Falls.

But it wasn't the parking lot where we parked. I finally get cell service and tell Anson where we were, so he drove down and picked us up. By that time it was 5PM and we headed home.

So, moral of the story is: if you ever want to visit Ponytail Falls, park at Horsetail Falls!

Anson and I both had a great time even though we were separated and the kids complained about being outside walking when they would rather sit in the basement playing video games on their day off. Other moral of the story: When one wants to spend some time photographing beautiful places - leave the family home.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tick, tick, tick....

If you asked me a couple of months ago how I felt about moving to North Carolina, I would have smiled and said, "I can't wait"! Since then, North Carolina and many other states across the south were hit with a tornado outbreak. North Carolina averages 19 tornadoes a year, a lot if you ask me, but more than 60 hit over one weekend last month! 60!!! And they weren't in some remote part of N.C. either, they touched down and killed people in Fayetteville...the same city that we'll be calling home in just a few months. That's pretty scary.

I didn't have any fears about moving there until this all happened. I'm still excited about traveling across the U.S. and seeing cool places along the way and the adventure it will be for our family, but it's not going to be all fun and worry free like I have dreamt it to be.

We're still talking about what to do with our dog Lucy. We don't want to take her with us because it sucks traveling with a dog. We won't be able to stay in hotels along the way unless we pay a huge fee, and once we get to N.C. we want to spend our weekends traveling. If there was somebody who would watch her for a year and then give her back to us - that would be the best option. We haven't approached anybody with that idea yet but time is ticking...