I’ve been visiting Multanomah Falls in Oregon on my way to the Oregon Coast since I was a little girl. Most people visit the falls from the bottom, take a few rainy photos and head home. The mildly adventurous walk a little further up to a trial that leads to a beautiful bridge at the lower part of the falls. Those who year for a calf-cramping hike (or run!!) go the full trail up to the top of the water falls, where you can look down (and get the belly to do a little flip flop) and see the waterfall from above. I’ve only been to that viewpoint once in my life and my Dad likes to tell how I rode the entire way up on his shoulders (I think I was 3.)  Today I made it my goal to jog up to the top, take some pics and jog on down on my own two feet. My wonderfully, supportive family patiently waited in the minivan in the parking lot since it was cold and pouring rain (thankfully the kids had their ds’s to keep them occupied and my loving hubby took a much-needed nap) while I made my way up the mountain.
Though the bottom of the trail starts at very close to sea level, the hike quickly takes you winding through dripping wet green, moss-covered canopies of trees on a narrow asphalt path to the top of the 620 foot waterfall (the second largest year round falls in the U.S.!) I thought I was in reasonable shape, but this trail had my calves crying out for mercy before 1/2 mile was done. My heart was beating a mile a minute and I couldn’t believe how heavy my breathing was. I had to hike stretches of the path as I caught my breath, but the area is so beautiful I couldn’t help but still smile and enjoy the journey. From about the midpoint, you can easily see the Columbia River Gorge – and it’s a view to behold!
I did make it to the top and enjoyed taking my own photo, grinning like crazy and dripping wet. Then the real fun began. Now an elevation gain of about 700 ft going UP is a challenge — going DOWN is pure, heart-pumping, feet-pounding fun!!!! This was the first real run for my new Nike Trail shoes and they were amazing! Even though the path was soaking wet and covered in many places in moss — I didn’t slip once! And, that’s saying something since I was flying down the mountain having a ball, passing families huddled (and even one dog) in rain coats who were just making their way carefully back down the mountain.
After a change into dry clothes, I kissed my husband and thanked my kids for letting me have one last bit of selfish fun on this vacation trip. I rode the rest of the way back home feeling like I was on a cloud. It was a long drive back today – about 10 hours in the minivan with five children and the hubby!!! We’re so happy to be safe and sound back at home. I can’t wait to load up the vacation photos we took and share some with you. I’m still crossing my fingers that my cell phone will rise from the dead in a day or two after drying out the components!!!

Stats: 3 miles! RAINY!, cold and FUN!!! 

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