Sunrise at Beacon

After several attempts I was able to be present on a clear morning to get a shot of the sunrise on Beacon Rock. The Gorge has a mind of its own when it some to weather and I have always greeted early mornings under the cover of fog or clouds. Today was different.


Big thanks to Jenny for joining me for the climb to a ledge where we waited for day break. By waited I mean slept. After a quick Alfredo Dinner and some chamomile tea we lingered on falling asleep. The densely packed Milky Way directly above above our heads was only interrupted once by a passing helicopter on its way to Portland. The bats stayed up long past our bedtime, and our night light was the occasional train that would illuminate the cliff face.


Some how the day hints at its arrival and there is no need for the alarm clock.



Some answer the call while others…



But eventually the coming day gets her way.



And reminds us that as much as we’d like, we can’t stay.



Oatmeal and coffee, muffins had to wait. We watched on as fisherman below dropped anchor and set their bait. On an island just little ways away, a herd of elk, 15 strong, began their day. Grazing lazily, on a pasture greener, as I rushed to get to work, and Jenny to her Weiner.



Just last week we made a quick hike up, with an overnight, to just below the Jefferson Park Glacier. Today the area that we hiked is closed due to wild fire. My thoughts and prayers are with fire crews working the lines. I have yet to do a write up on it but I was reminded of the sunset we experienced that evening. As the sun gets closer the the horizon everything is immersed in that alpine glow right to the very last sliver of sun that peaks over the horizon. It reminded me off a period in my life with more turmoil than usual. It is in our lowest lows and our highest highs that we realize what it is to be human. I was experiencing both at the same time. Fighting in courts to see my daughter more, and for one of the suns many sets, watching it disappear over the horizon with my 9 year old daughter. I thought of this when helplessly watching the sun, and that moment with my daughter, disappear never to be duplicated again. From there on just a memory, and this a reminder.

Man has poached

Man has hunted
Man has trapped
King of all predators
Our history mapped
Man has thought
Man has planned
Man has made
Free will from us
God never forbade.
Man has dreamt
Man has felt
Man has admired
To paper and canvas
His heart he retired.
We’ve done nearly all
Even reached for the skies
Man ever so tall
Above all thus far rise.
There exists a perplexion
No matter attempt
I can find no correction
My own failure contempt.
Her warmth we’ve employed
Her shine we have used
In cold days she has joyed
Our lives deeply infused.
Which is why I’m confused.
Her actions selfless and noble
Worth of all praise.
Her goodness is global
Her sight us amaze.
She is guilty of one thing
And I can’t come to terms.
Her action my heart sting
The day’s end it confirms.
Greedy and thefty
Just bear with me now
My meaning is hefty
It will question your bow.
She slips away daily
And slips the day too
Just beyond the horizon
Come to slip more than a few.
She stockpiles her spoils
Not wanting to share.
The fruit of our toils
We beg her return, but she doesn’t care.
So much man can boast
But at the day’s end
The sun takes the most
Her triumphs transcend.
We watch her in awe
In the act of her crime.
Perhaps it’s our own flaw
That we take for granted our time.

Columbia River Gorge; Cabin Creek

We are extremely fortunate to have so many canyoneering runs so close to the Portland area. There are plenty of waterfalls and creeks to run but we must take a few considerations before doing so. Lots of these places are easily accessible and a majority of the traffic is that of hikers and photographers. To continue having these places accessible we need to make sure we are not endangering anyone who maybe below. If the creek you want to run is swarmed with people avoid it, run it on a weekday when there is far less traffic. Another consideration is to tread softly. Our waterfalls are covered in beautiful mosses, and other flora that can easily be destroyed by a careless canyoneer. Be respectful to the environment and to the many photographers who cherish these pristine falls.


There are several creeks to run off the Starvation Creek Trailhead Exit off of Hwy 84 just before hood river. One of them Cabin Creek. This run has a short approach and 3 waterfalls form which to escape the summer heat under. For the parking lot hike west on trail 413 for 1/4 mile until you see Cabin Falls. Trail 414A is just east of the falls and you will need to take it uphill. 50 ft after the trail makes a sharp left to head south you will find a large log on you right (west) side. This is a perfect spot to get geared up and start to bushwack you way to the creek.


Once at the creek you will encounter your first set of falls. This is a short 20′ that has a massive fallen tree from which to set up an anchor.

From here just a short hike down to the next set of falls. There is a piece of webbing on the west side of the creek, always inspect existing webbing to ensure it is intact and able to support you and everyone in your party. This falls will take you 90′ into a slot with a pool below.


The pool below extends to the north about 40′. There is a log jammed in the slot from which to set up your next anchor. Be extremely careful rappelling this section as people will sometimes be in the pool below. Tread softly and do not kick rocks loose. This edge can sometimes be a bit tricky, just before you drop over there is a overhung portion that puts you right in the path path of the water. There is also a very narrow spot where you can easily get you ankle stuck. I have found it to be easier sticking to the west side of the water flow and easing over the edge.


Once over the edge navigate your way downwards until the next edge. about half of this rappel is free hanging so make sure you and everyone in your group is comfortable rappelling and have gloves. Those that have already made it to the bottom should stand on fireman’s belay.


Thats it! no back to the car and lunch in Hood River!


Steens Mountain; Pike Creek Peak

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