Sunday, June 5, 2011

Columbia Gorge and Sushi!

I got ya baby!
Scott Finding the Shrine
This past weekend, being the last with Jenn in town before she leaves for the summer, Scott, Danielle, Jason, Jenn, Emily and I all piled into Scott’s Subaru and headed up to Portland and the Gorge for the day on Sunday. We first stopped at REI to look for bike shoes for Emily’s birthday that we couldn’t find at the REI outside of San Francisco. After the quick stop and some coffee we headed into the Gorge for some hiking.

Upper Latourel Falls
Slow Shutter Upper Falls
I was surprised to find that nobody but I had hiked the trails I had planned for the day. The first short hike did was the Latourel Falls loop which brought us to both the very tall (250’) lower falls and the upper falls deep in the gorge which was 100 feet tall and a horsetail type. I had our new Nikon with me and was really enjoying practicing slow exposures to show the water in motion over the falls but found out that for longer exposures you definitely need a tripod as the majority of the photos came out blurry. Hiking up into the gorge everyone seemed to get ahead of me but I took my time walking off the trail down to the very edge of the lower falls and peering over the 250 foot tall falls down to the creek and bridge below for some photos. When I finally did catch up to the group Scott had somehow found some golden Buddhist shrine objects tucked under a large rock in the stream while looking for newts. None of us had any idea why they would be there completely unmarked… weird… From there we traveled up the trail and deeper into the gorge to the beautiful upper falls which we hung out at for a bit while Jason and I toyed around with our DSLR’s. The descent on the other side of the stream was equally amazing as we stopped first at an extremely steep overlook with a 300 foot drop which scared both Danielle and Jenn but Emily was brave enough to get a cool photo of her holding on to me at the edge. Later down the trail we came to a cool tree whose trunk hung over the trail which I had been to before. Jenn of course climbed up it and Danielle stuck her first in a branch hole for some funny shots. We ended the hike by crossing over the old Columbia Historic Highway and then under the bridge to check out the lower falls from below where I think I got the best shots of the day. Jenn decided to go on a quick bouldering adventure on the way out as well before we left the area and continued east to check out Horsetail and Ponytail Falls.
Jenn assualting a tree
When we arrived at Horsetail Falls just off the road we found some classic truck balls on a trailer hitch we of course had to get some funny shots with… What kind of person still thinks this is cool??? Must be from Eastern Oregon… Before hiking up the trail we got some photos of Horsetail Falls as well an Apple Fanboy couple who were sitting in camp chairs with two iPhone, 2 iPads and a Macbook Pro. I couldn’t tell if they were doing it to show off their tech blatantly or if they were actually working on photography and video editing which I kind of saw on the walk by. We climbed the steep switchbacking trail up to beautiful PonyTail Falls which we could walk behind just like Upper Latourel Falls. We hung out here for while getting photos and watching Scott again look for critters before Danielle indicated she was starving so we descended back down to the car and headed towards Portland.
Jenn decides to rock climb
Passing under the historic highway
On the drive we all kind of agreed on some time of sushi or thai place to eat so I got out Yelp and found a place with rave reviews in downtown Troutdale. Emily and I had never been to downtown Troutdale and were pleasantly surprised by how nice it was. We were even more surprised by the ridiculous deal we found ourselves walking into. For just $14 the special was this:
Horsetail Falls
Aww... Jenn & Jason
1 California Roll
3 Pieces of Sashimi
2 Spring Rolls
And one full entry of your choice off the menu… which we were astounded to find included all of the entry’s 10-$14 in price! Emily and I also ordered a separate roll as well and it was the first time that I left a sushi restaurant with a take home bag! Everyone was super happy and I’m sure Jenn had a great time on her last weekend with us before the summer. We will all definitely miss her! Come back soon!
Best Sushi and Friends Ever!