Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’

Waterfalls Galore

June 25, 2010

Vague memories from my childhood of the highway up the Columbia Gorge surfaced yesterday as I returned 35 years later as a tourist.  This was the highway we traveled from Portland to Grandpa and Grandma’s house in Heppner, Oregon.  I remember diligently keeping my nose glued to the south-facing window… counting waterfalls.  They were a rare novelty then even though they were so close to home…. it’s not like you see waterfalls everyday.  Our activities director planned hikes up three waterfalls… huge waterfalls.  The Multnomah Falls hike has 11 switch-backs and climbs 700 feet.  Unfortunately, I was a dripping mess by switch-back two and didn’t see the need to kill myself off on waterfall number one!  It is so humid here compared to Phoenix, and add a bit of waterfall mist and my hair was limp, like spaghetti.  Let me tell you, a homemade ham and cheese sandwich has never tasted so good!

In the visitor’s center I confiscated a map of the Gorge and realized if we were to see this part of God’s country in ALL its glory… we had 32 more sites after the 700′ hike.  We only made three. It is so beautiful and lush here on the Washington/Oregon border.  I understand why the pioneers saw this as the Promised Land, the Land of Goshen and the Land of Milk and Honey.  Green green green everywhere!  And wild berries and wild flowers galore.  Does my nature-loving-soul good.

To the untrained eye, this would seem like a conventional family photo of the Crosbys…. but no.  Our daughter is in California helping with the VBS sports camp.  So we had our niece stand in, being this is our first partial family vacation without our daughter, and because I’m not ready for family of four pictures yet where I’m the only girl.  They do look quite a bit alike…. blonde hair, blue eyes, same height, etc. etc.

This is the first living picture of my husband after my sister informed me that he let my boys climb outside the barriers for photos at the top of Multnomah Falls… and I let him live.  Photo evidence of my mercy and grace, that’s what this really is.  Yes, I was present at the other two waterfall hikes in their entirety.  Good grief.

At waterfall number three, Latourel Falls, I diligently read the sign that explained the history of the falls which went from a private owner to the state parks system in memory of the man’s wife.  The base of the waterfall was where they held family church.  Imagine owning a piece of heaven on earth!  If you get a chance to tour the Columbia River Gorge… just do it!

Pioneers

March 15, 2010

As previously mentioned, I’m working on a high school Arizona History curriculum, you know, in my free time.  Yeah, I’m a nerd.  But if you’ve been around My Sister’s Jar for any amount of time, you know that already.  History books make me salivate.  And old family photos, be still my heritage-loving heart.  Currently I’ve been reading about the pioneer folks who settled AZ… these were people with moxie, hardihood, pluck and mettle.  People of great strength and hardy stock.  Wow.  I read the stories of rivers flooding, houses burning, Indian attacks, unending water hauling and I realize it was an extremely difficult life… then I remember air conditioning wasn’t invented yet, adding another level of intrepidity.  Wow.

Above is a glimpse into my heritage… my Great-great Grandparents and their daughters.  GG Grandpa Bethel crossed the plains and settled in Oregon.  I know I’m partial to these attractive folks, but they seem a bit smarter than those who settled Arizona.  It’s relatively comfortable in Oregon in the summer!  Yes, it rains a lot, but then you don’t have to haul as much water and your vegetables grow into mammoth blue-ribbon-winning beauties.  And yes, there were Indians, but not the Apaches!  Mercy, they were a tough lot.

This picture isn’t dated, but my guess is 1890-something.  Both the daughters were married by 1901.  I’ve foolishly thought that I would have faired well in those times.  The more I read, I’m not so sure.  I love the outdoors, gardening and baking, sewing, being ingenuitive….. but not for survival purposes.  More like for a hobby.

Anyway, I’ll be reading AZ history books for the next nine months, so I’m sure you’ll get more thrilling information that you can pass on to others who don’t really care either.