Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Traveling Past Multnomah . . .

We're on the road again, driving slowly south from Spokane, past hills still coated with snow, down to the desert in Tucson, where my sister sips morning coffee on her patio, wearing shorts in 80 degree weather.

The morning was clear enough, once we dropped down from the rolling hills of eastern Washington, that we caught the tip of Mount Hood as we entered the Columbia Gorge. Then, just as we got used to hills covered with pines, we rounded a corner, and there she was revealed fully:  Mount Hood.

Mount Hood from McCall Point (Wikipedia)

We stopped at Multnomah Falls, and I wondered what those first travellers through the gorge must have thought at this pair of falls from tip to base measuring over 600 feet. Starvation Creek is near, so that gives some indication. I had forgotten that a 70-ton boulder fell from the top of Multnomah Falls in 1994. No one was injured, but this wasn't the first time rocks have tumbled down these great falls. I wonder what native peoples thought of these falls so long ago.

This story from the Wasco traditions tells how Coyote wooed a young woman. Repeated gifts do not lead the young girl to say yes, but once he builds the falls and a private pool for her, the grandmothers weigh in. The story  doesn't end with 'happily ever after' -- it ends with an admonition that we listen well to the story and to nature. 

I've changed the heading here, for Africa was last year's trip, though the memories yet challenge me to write more. And a trip across Canada promises a rich summer ahead. Once, along the Columbia Gorge, I saw the stone carving of She Who Watches . . . she who protects all who travel. I wish you well on your journey.

Source: Wikipedia Multnomah Falls.


KM Huber said...

Oh, I do hope there are more Africa posts, which is not to say I do not enjoy these Oregon/Washington moments. I have yet to visit the Columbia Gorge but it is on my bucket list. Again, Beth, I really enjoy your travel posts. You give us the heart of every spot you visit.


Sandy Brown Jensen said...

Wish we could have seen you on your way down I-5! Good to be tracking your travels, but I wasn't fast enough to catch you this time!
Love and safe journeys!
Peter and Sandy