We didn't go far today, but we came across some captivating winter phenomena. It's been so cold here for several days — the lowest temp on my outdoor thermometer was 15 degrees. The Columbia River Gorge has numerous waterfalls. There are the bigger, more well-known ones like Multnomah Falls and Horsetail Falls, all farther east along the old highway, but we saw many smaller ones, all frozen like this one on Stark Street, just out of Troutdale.
The highway here is bordered with high cliffs on one side, water cascading down from the top, making its way through the clefts in the rocks. On the opposite side of the street we looked down on the Sandy River.
Just before we got to the bridge spanning the Sandy River we saw this very delightful falls coming down from the cliffs in what appeared to be a large private preserve. The grounds were surrounded by a high steel fence — no entry here! Beside the charming, completely frozen cascade there were light posts and a bench or two, undoubtedly someone's sanctuary in the midst of very old and large firs. I could imagine myself taking a book and perhaps a picnic lunch and sitting here on a warm spring or summer day!
There are two ways to enter the historic Columbia River Highway heading east, one by coming through Troutdale and crossing a bridge over the Sandy River declaring itself to be "The Gateway to the Columbia River Gorge", and the other by crossing over the Sandy River at the ending of Stark Street. Both bridges are quite ancient.
As I said, we didn't go far. After crossing the Stark Street Bridge we headed back towards Troutdale. We saw these lovely frozen falls all along the way, some of them just seepage from the rock walls. This water may not be noticed or even be present in the warmer seasons.
One last shot, approaching the "Gateway" bridge taking us back into Troutdale. I wonder how the bigger falls farther up the road to the east are looking in the freezing temperatures. They are probably not completely frozen, as are these smaller streams, but I can imagine they are even more stunning. We may take that longer drive on another frosty winter day!
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