When in Doubt…Waterfalls

Lee and I have spent the last few days trying to process what’s next for us, and work through a range of feelings.  When faced with uncertainty in this new lifestyle, we find it’s helpful to go back to the basics and reconnect with why we started this journey to begin with. So on Wednesday we decided to do just that. Early in the season I picked a book up at the local library sale called Romance of Waterfalls .

The book I picked up was written in 1998, and details over 100 waterfalls in our area, many of which we have never seen.  So we started out early in the morning with a list and what turned out to be some very weird directions.  Many of these waterfalls are lesser known and directions included things like “Turn left at the Meadows Ski Resort sign,” or “turn right near the Dell sawmill.”  Unfortunately things do change in 20 years (I am sure the newest version has updated directions) and that coupled with spotty cell coverage made our initial search a little frustrating.  Eventually we found our first spot and entered a closed and overgrown park that led to Punchbowl Falls.

We ultimately found this place by putting Punchbowl Falls into our GPS and came to a rusty gate and a beat up sign


Undeterred we entered the walking area of the gate and found this sign in much better condition


There wasn’t a clear path to see the falls and no viewpoint to speak of


But in several places you could walk to the cliffs edge and take a peek. This new diving sign was surprising


Because who would dive off that pointy rock into that!!


The falls themselves were just ok


But the views were awesome. Fall colors were starting and you could see Mount Hood off in the distance although it is hard to see in this picture


One of the most interesting things was across the way there was a derelict staircase that was falling apart in most places

We could hear a second set of falls and this is where the book came in handy because we knew if we kept walking we would see Dead Point Creek Falls.  The second set of falls was less than 50 feet away, but since it was so overgrown it was hard to get a good picture.  It is a shame because what little we could see looked pretty cool, but since we couldn’t see an easy way to get to the base of the falls, we had to be satisfied with our view from across the river.

Dead Point Creek Falls

Lee was just happy to be out, but I was a little disappointed.  Definitely not the wow factor I was looking for, but I decided to go back to the book and try one more place.  One of the exits along I-84 (Exit 55 east bound only exit) was supposed to have a waterfall less than 100 yards from the restroom.  Despite the fact that we were headed westbound and had to back track a little I decided to check it out, and wow was I glad we did.  I’ve passed this rest area at least 50 times in the last couple of years and never stopped there.  Although it is NOT big rig friendly, it is a charming place to stop, with a modern and extremely clean restroom and three (yes three!) waterfalls with easy access within a very short distance.

There is a State Park that borders on the rest area


Really terrific restrooms


And a paved trail to a waterfall and picnic area that is within 100 feet


Really nice picnic area


Initial views of the falls are obscured by two giant boulders which might be why this area doesn’t get more attention



But Lee walked the rough and wet path behind the rocks


And wow were we glad we did


There was a very cool group of cairns across from the falls


And another very close by


Lee’s pic


Plus we got great views of the very top which was two streams of water coming together


And we could stand on rocks super close to the falls and amazingly not get wet. That was neat

Great pics were possible because we could stand right below

This was what I was looking for and we spent a ton of time there before heading to the southwest corner of the parking lot and onto a second trail.  Again the book came in handy because it told us two other waterfalls existed within .2 miles of the rest area and since the road was a paved path it was definitely worth the walk.

In case you were wondering the creek got it’s name because a group of train travelers were stuck for three weeks here trying to dig themselves out. No one starved to death but they did get very hungry in the three weeks it took to clear the tracks


This sign near the trail shows all of the waterfalls in the area


Although it was too close to the freeway in many places the views of the river were pretty


This trail is actually part of historic highway 30 but this section is closed to cars


About a tenth of a mile we saw this sign to cabin creek falls, although you could see the falls from the road



The walk along the woods was absolutely beautiful


Since it was a beautiful day we decided to walk another tenth of a mile to Hole in the Wall Falls. I was particularly interested in this waterfall because a hole was created by engineers to change the direction of the falls since they often flooded the road.  I’ve never really seen anything like that and was so glad we walked the additional bit because not only was it a cool engineering feat but also a very pretty falls.

Make a left when you see this paved path. There was no sign but the falls are slightly visible


Another nice picnic area near the falls


Really pretty and a pretty little bridge


Lee got a great shot of the hole they created.  Amazing.


That walk and those falls definitely cleared my head. Afterward we went to Camping World (always fun for full-time RVers) where Lee bought a new chair and I bought a new light-up rug on clearance.  Then we ate at my favorite local restaurant Sweet Tomatoes,  I absolutely love their mushroom soup.  And finally we stopped at the Salvation Army and took advantage of a 50% off sale to get two new (to me) pairs of jeans and a flannel shirt.  Simple pleasures, simple life, simple time together.  It’s important that we don’t lose site of that.

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6 thoughts on “When in Doubt…Waterfalls

  1. Nice day, we did the Starvation Creek falls and Cabin Creek falls, but now we need to go back to the Hole in the Wall Falls. LOL, so many falls in the Gorge, so little time. Hoping more of the area is open by the time we come back, so many areas were still closed due to last year’s Eagle Creek fire. Glad you had time to just enjoy the day!

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