Saturday, July 11, 2009
Week 4 Summer 2009 Adventure with Kids ~ Wahclella Falls
This week, week 4 of summer 2009, we drove to the Columbia Gorge and hiked to Wahclella Falls Friday, the two mile round trip hike was listed in my Best Hikes with Kids book and was perfect for our group of 7 kids between the ages of 17 and 6 – we had Riek and Nykwa from Sudan with as well as Ryan’s friend Brett-
When I had asked Wesley, 11, where to go yesterday morning the day of our adventure, he had remembered this hike from two years ago when we went with my sister.
“Let’s go to the water fall which has the caves,” he said.
I was amazed he had remembered that. And though I had blogged about it, I did not write the name of the falls so this time I will make sure to do that.
The hike begins on a service road and is a slow incline compared with Multnomah Falls. It then turns into a nice trail. What I like especially about this path is that it meanders along a creek, which is called Tanner Creek.
There are several bridges along the hike and the views of the rushing water and the trees are breathtaking. A dam makes it fun as well.
When we got close to the caves the excitement in the children’s voices was so sweet.
“There’s the cave. I remember this.”
They even brought their little lights. Wesley’s was a pen light given to him by his Sunday School teacher last year, Mr. Bill Tate.
The twins and Riek, all 11, explored the cave while Nykwa and Augustin threw rocks into the creek and Brett and Ryan climbed the rocks.
Later we got really close to the water fall and they got a little wet from the spray.
I loved being out here with my kids and friends along. I loved being in the woods. It felt so good to get away.
It is so very important to get kids outdoors into the woods and what I realize it is does not have to be for a long 8 hour day but can be a half day outing. For us the drive was only 45 minutes and we were home in time for dinner.
There is something about a deliberate time like this with the children. Fully engaged in a new adventure. Listening to the conversations. The excitement when they find animals. MickaelJosef discovered a little frog in the cave. Somehow it feels good for the spirit. And you are appreciating God’s amazing creation.
The Wahclella Falls Trailhead can be found by taking the Bonneville Dam Exit 40 off of Interstate 84, and staying right at the exit. The trailhead is about a quarter of a mile from there. It cost $ 5 to park which you can leave at the little self service station.
The trail to the falls is a simple 300 foot elevation gain and is perfect for all ages.