Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sahalie Falls

I have been enamored of Sahalie Falls since I first discovered it, quite accidentally, not long after I settled in Oregon back in 1996. I just wanted to explore the mountains, see what was up there, so I pointed my little truck east from Corvallis and opted to turn right when I reached the McKenzie Highway, probably because the maps showed that was the way back to the Willamette Valley. Little did I know what awaited me not far down this road. It's all beautiful, as most of it follows the exquisite McKenzie River all the way almost into Eugene. But early on there was a sign that I couldn't resist: Sahalie Falls. So I pulled into the parking lot and followed the trail (and the noise!) and when I came upon this sight my heart just leapt out of my chest. The trail continues on to another large waterfall, Koosah, and circles back on the other side of the river. I've only made that round trip once, but I remember waterfall after waterfall, and rapids and forests and nothing but utter beauty. I was entranced then, and I still am.

Last time I was here was in the spring of 2009, not long before I moved away from Eugene. There's a primitive video on this page where I wrote about that day's journey.

The above photo is the first I took when I arrived, and frankly, the best of the bunch, I think. But, there are others.

This photo is from a different spot and shows the entire scene a bit more -- and don't you love that beautiful arc of rainbow? First time I've encountered that, and it was fascinating to watch. I could watch the mist drifting through it in places.

This one was taken a little further down the trail, shows that beautiful, clear water rushing downhill from the falls. Hard to get much in the way of photos here because of the trees, but I wouldn't change the trees -- they add to the beauty of the place.

At about this point, my camera battery died. I'd thought about charging it before leaving home, but decided it was probably good enough. Wrong! We continued east to the sweet little town of Sisters for lunch, stopping along the way at a couple of places. One was a resort on a lake with snow-capped mountains behind it. Simply breathtaking! And of course, the day was warm and crystal clear, blue skies and sunshine and I itched for a photo, but it'll just have to stay in my memory. There were many such views -- of the Three Sisters, and Mt. Washington. No snow where we were, but they are much higher and had plenty.

Lovely day. And next time we go out driving, I'll be sure the battery is charged.

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