September 5, 2017
In northeast Portland the sun is cloaked in an orange shroud, the air tastes bitter, smells like smoke, and is dripping ash, ash from the burning trees in our beloved Columbia River Gorge! The heat has pushed the human caused (allegedly a teenager with firecracker) conflagration west along the famous waterfall corridor. Residents have evacuated and their homes are intact so far. Firefighters are working hard, may they stay safe! But the weather is so hot and dry and the winds relentless – we all fear for the next stage of this tragedy. It is a waiting game now as I reflect on all the lovely hikes we have taken in the area – waiting to know which of these amazing places are intact, and which will begin a new phase of regrowth and regeneration. I am no stranger to hiking in burn zones, but this particular area was so lush and green. It is very sad.
From east to west, some of our favorite places that are threatened or burned:
Dry Creek Falls
Note that steep trail area is likely where the fireworks were used.
McCord Creek / Elowah Falls
Oneonta / Horsetail area
Wahkeena / Multnomah Falls Loop
Views from Washington toward Oregon where the fire is burning