Vacation always tests my willpower on eating healthy and keeping up with a semi-regular exercise routine. Actually, deep fried snacks, dark beers, endless sweets, and melted cheese always win. Portland in particular is like a direct assault on my waistline. If I’m not out trolling all of the delicious food trucks or taking home a hefty sampling of Voodoo Doughnuts, I’m partying myself into oblivion while chowing down on beer and cheese dip. Though this time was slightly more tame in the partying sense (hey, I’m getting older), I vowed to be a bit more active to cancel out the gluttonous amounts of food I was consuming.
My friend Jessie and I took her pup Maya for a walk up Multnomah Falls. Greatly unfamiliar with the Pacific Northwest, I’d actually never heard of the falls but I jumped at the chance to do something outdoors that didn’t involve concrete, skyscrapers, or Times Square.
We settled in the car for a 40 minute drive East along the Columbia River. With the serene views and wide-open spaces, I found myself deep in thought wondering why I haven’t been able to break free from my love-hate relationship with city life on the East Coast. Then Maya farted. And it stunk, bad.
From some angles the two drops don’t look like much, but I’ve heard it’s the second highest year-round waterfall in the US at a total height of about 620 feet. I forgot my tape measurer so I can’t really back that up, nor have I seen any other falls in person. Nope, not even Niagara Falls. I’m slacking.
We thought twice about hoofing it the entire way to the top and just going up to the bridge instead. That was until I heard some severely overweight—okay obese—mother tell her four-year-old daughter they’re not going on the trail. “You can see it from here” she scolded from the coffee stand near the parking lot. Then she explained to the barista how they’d just finished an exhausting hour of mall walking, and ordered what seemed like one of every pastry on the menu for lunch. I looked at my thighs, acknowledged the feeling of my jeans pressing into my gut, looked at Jessie, and we headed for the trail.
The path was narrow but paved and it wasn’t overly crowded. That meant we were able to maintain a leisurely pace without disgruntled assholes passing us by every ten seconds. So much different than the streets of NYC. It’s just over one mile of back and forth zigging and zagging, surrounded by moss-covered trees and other green stuff. There were a few crazies running past us at full speed in their running gear, but those people are just insane. And by insane I mean insanely in shape and I am totally jealous.
For that mile we were accompanied by the welcome scent of crisp air and wet pine, and only a few of Maya’s rotten egg tainted farts. The sounds of the cars below were replaced with sounds of the falls at every turn. And there were plenty of views of the Columbia River and the snow-capped mountains of Washington peeking through the trees.
At the top there was a small, circular gated-in deck for people to take pictures on. But the only thing I wanted to do was jump in and ride the falls back down to the bottom. Unfortunately this wasn’t a safe option, so we just snapped a few pics and made our way back down.
As soon as we returned home from our hike we negated any calories burned with a delicious Mexican fiesta. All in all, another perfect day in Portland.