We’ve been meaning to get to the Multnomah Falls, a quick thirty minutes from us in Portland. There was no planning, we just happened to pick a perfect day — clear, dry, and warm for January.
I thought we were going to walk up that first little bridge, take some photos, and get on with our lives. This was a short-lived fantasy. When we reached the bridge, we kept going. And noticed this little cave. We did the most obvious thing:
Up we went. The first switchback had a sign: 1 of 11 switchbacks. I knew then I was in trouble. I had dressed inappropriately: Ugg books with no ankle support, cardigan, and makeup. I was only good for looking pretty, not for hiking. Actually, I don’t think I’m ever good at hiking.
At first, I kept up with TJ, but soon, I was falling behind.
Eventually, I gave up, waved TJ on, told him to go on without me and to remember that he loved me, despite my failings. I pretend to try some ‘photography’ . Really, I was bent over at the waist sucking air.
Don’t judge me. I hadn’t eaten breakfast. I workout inside. I have weak lungs. At switchback 7 of 11, I swear I saw a burning bush and Moses.
By the time I got to the overlook, TJ was heading back down the trail, but he turned back to walk with me.
At the top, you could stand at the edge and look down, straight down the waterfall. It’s moments like those that I remember that I don’t enjoy heights. Was it worth the pain and embarrassment of being left behind? Of course. I have two strong legs, a heart in good order and ability, I try not to let my brain get in the way.
We highly recommend this hike. But I suggest being a little more prepared than I was. Maybe, wear sneakers or hiking boots, bring some water, wear layers and if possible eat something. Or, if this all seems like too much, convince your travel party not to go past the first bridge.