Time for another mini-road-trip out of the Willamette Valley to anywhere new. I have a few things tagged on google maps that I've stumbled across online. Things that I need to go back and research, and perhaps someday seek out. Today was one of those days. We went seeking Moulton Falls on the east fork of the Lewis River.
We stopped in Portland for a little snack to take along. We found Gluten Free Gem, a gluten free bakery just off of I-5. We saved our treats until we were out of Portland and off the freeway in Washington. Ron had an apple scone, that must have been the best scone I've ever had, gluten or non-gluten. It was that good. I had a chocolate donut, also good. And we have coffee cake waiting in the kitchen for an evening snack. Oh, and also the best green tea. I've ever had. This is now our go to snack stop for Portland. Yum!
|Some of the best gluten free treats we've found!|
Photos courtesy of Gluten Free Gems map page.
|Gluten Free Gem|
A few things about Moulton Falls. I discovered this place from online photos. Beautiful photos of a bridge reflected in the waters. It's also the place where a young girl was pushed off the bridge by one of her friends who was getting impatient for her to jump. There was no reflection today, and the lighting was typical for winter in the pacific northwest - bland. But we weren't here to take photos. We needed a hike and an explore.
First off was to get that bridge pic from the bank of the river.
|Moulton Falls Bridge|
That done we hiked up to the bridge and over to a wide, relatively flat trail. This was a simple hike out and back. Looking at the map later, I think I could have connected this hike to the St. Lucia Falls hike mentioned below. Ah well, hindsight.
|Many small falls running off the hillside.|
|Interesting trail marker.|
|Ron on Moulton Falls Trail|
|Yours truly and more little waterfalls|
We hiked out about 2 miles until the river crossed under the railroad track and away from the trail. Here we chose to turn back and look for other trails to explore.
After returning to the parking lot we hiked a short trail down to the falls. The power of surging water so close is exhilarating. I don't think Ron likes my scrambling over rocks and boulders for a close up look. Of course that's my favorite thing to do.
|What's different here?|
|and now the artsy stuff|
Next stop was back down the road for a short, 1 mile hike near St Lucia Falls. This is a hike that I think might be possible to connect to the Moulton Falls hike. St Lucia Falls is much larger. We hiked the trail then came back to scramble among the boulders and ponding water to get to the river's edge. No video of St. Lucia. My battery was nearly dead.
|St Lucia Falls|
|Churning water below the falls|
|St Lucia. Notice the guy on the bank.|
|St Lucia Falls from the shore|
|St Lucia Falls from below|
We stopped for lunch in Vancouver. Nothing special, just a Panda Express. Then off to Alder Creek Paddle shop before we head home.
|Of course I had to have the most colorful ones!|
I've been wanting to get a different paddle for my kayak for a few years now. A slight upgrade in materials (no, not carbon fiber), and more importantly a good deal shorter than my current paddle. I was just planning to look, but when they offered an extra 15% off, and with valentines day coming, well, Ron said Happy Valentines Day and bought the paddle. Now I totally want to go kayaking, like tomorrow! Thanks Hon!! Love ya!
Hiking: 5 miles total