Am I Tough Enough?

I’m crossing my fingers and my toes (and praying that they all come back in one piece) because this weekend I’m going to answer the big question: Am I tough enough?

Here’s why. I’m competing in the Tough Mudder race in Las Vegas:

Look forward to…hopefully a fun post next week recapping the adventure!

Summiting the South Sister

Climbing the last stretch, a mile straight up through red-brown silt and gravel, I kept my eyes on the peak ahead. The blue sky over the rounded bulge summit at 10,358 feet beckoning me like a turquoise pendant. Reaching the top … Continue reading

Cooling off Along the Waters of the Columbia River Gorge

Headin east from Portland along highway 84, we raced the rising summer sun. Warming from the tip-top cliffs of the river valley down to the curving road that hugs the waters’ shore, the sun kissed the Columbia River Gorge as we set off on a day-long adventure.

Following the Historic Columbia River Highway (highway 30), from just east of Troutdale, we dotted our way slowly along the winding road in search of the scenic byway’s many waterfalls – and boy did we discover our fair share of tumbling water!

The drive started with a quick stop at the Portland Women’s Forum State Scenic Viewpoint to take in the dramatic landscape from the mouth of this scenic byway. From here we could see the jagged cliffs of the Gorge, the shimmering blue river and our second stop, Crown Point Vista House, an octagonal shaped observatory built in 1916.

Columbia River Gorge

Escaping deeper along the highway, we rounded the corner to our first waterfall, Latourell Falls. Located within Guy W. Talbot State Park, this thin stream of water left both our mouths hanging open in awe. Plunging 224-feet from a wall of basalt, the white water impressively contrasted with the dark rock and neon green lichen that highlighted its face.

Latourell Falls

From here we continued along highway 30 to Shepperd’s Dell Falls. A series of trickling plateau, this grouping of falls took you down below the highway to catch some cool spray before hopping back in the car to take off to Bridal Veil Falls. Elegantly streaming like a wedding veil in two separate falls, this waterfall gushes with glory before it descends into the Columbia River.

Bridal Veil Falls

Next up, cascading also in two folds, Wahkeena Falls steps down 242-feet through a crack in two rock outcroppings surrounded by the forest’s lush greenery – making it quite the sight. Originally known as Gordon Falls, this waterfall was re-birthed Wahkeena – meaning “most-beautiful” in Yakima Indian – in 1915 with the completion of the highway.

Wahkeena Falls
Following the dirt trail from Wahkeena Falls for a half-mile, we finally made it to the granddaddy of waterfalls along the Columbia River Scenic Highway, Multnomah Falls. Oregon’s tallest waterfall, Multnomah cascades 620-feet in total and is fed by natural underground springs that originate at Larch Mountain. Spanning over the second fall, Benson Bridge offers visitors a unique viewpoint of the upper falls in all its glory.

Multnomah Falls
But the fun didn’t end there! Before taking the westward journey back to Portland, we cruised down the end of the scenic highway past Horsetail Falls and finally ended the day exploring the mouth of Oneonta Gorge (can’t wait to return and do this whole hike – looks epic!) as the sun started to fall in the sky.

Have you ever driven this scenic highway? What is your favorite waterfall along the route?

Climbing into the Canopy in the McKenzie River Valley

Surrounded by a rainbow of green and the scent of fresh spring forest, I hung out with my feet dangling and wide grin on my face. Nothing could ruin my spirits – especially at 100 feet off the ground! Gazing … Continue reading

To British Columbia and Beyond

Here is a sneak peak of the wonderful ski weekend I just enjoyed at Sun Peaks Resort in Canada. From the Top of the World (name of the ski run), you could see to the rugged mountains and deep valleys of British Columbia. Story and more photos coming soon!

Skiing at Sun Peaks Resort Canada

Framing Portraits: An Adventure with OneStepBigShot

This afternoon I ventured through the wild, untamed roads of Eugene to the University of Oregon campus. Dodging skateboarders, helmet-less bikers, rushing hair-frizzed, tardy school goers, and carefree sunglasses wearers – I practically felt like I was in Zanesville, Ohio, and all the game animals had escaped.

“Wow I haven’t been to campus in forever, it’s like another world,” I thought as I walked past the UO Duck Store. But dangers and all I was on an adventure…and art adventure to be exact.

Rounding the corner, I found my partner in crime for the curious quest, Jordan Eddy. Tall and slender with a contagious smile and holding an empty picture frame up to the oncoming crowd, I spotted him right away – though we never had met.

Jordan and I crossed paths – or should I say tweets – last spring. A fellow Eugene area blogger (One Step Big Shot) with a focus in the arts, we connected via twitter and started following each other’s various adventures and photos. With a passion for the visual arts, Jordan is an up & coming art critic with an eye for the unique and a fantastic working knowledge of the art world. So when Jordan or @OneStepBigShot DM’d me (direct messaged, twitter term) to join him on an art adventure, I quickly agreed.

The concept for the afternoon was framing portraits – a play on our shared love of photography. So with a little bit of wire twine and three empty, used picture frames from Goodwill we created our own outdoor photo studio. Twirling in the wind like a metallic wind chime, the frames hung from a large, branchy tree and seemingly levitated outside of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

Using our energy and of course smashing good looks, we gathered random passing students, faculty and visitors for a quick snap shot portrait – and luckily no one bit.

The first victim of the day. Love the one eyebrow!

The cutest campus couple

A history professor on campus

Superstar!

A international film maker

More Portraits:

See your photo above? Let me know in the comments.

Want a copy? Send me an email with the description of the photo and I will shoot it your way.

Thanks to everyone who didn’t look at us strange and volunteered for the photos.