Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Day of Cats and HIkes

I trapped ten cats at the Lebanon colony, over two days.  And found three more in town here that needed fixed but wouldn't otherwise get fixed.  Today all 13 went with me to Portland, to the FCCO clinic, to be fixed.

I dropped them off then headed out I84, intent on a day at Multnomah Falls.  I stopped in Troutdale and ran into this in the parking lot of Jack in the Box.

A woman came out to talk to me.  Yes, it is her cat.  She and her guy live in the car right now, with the cat.  They were inside Jack in the Box having breakfast. The windshield was seriously shattered.  The cat stays close to the car or jumps back in an open window. He had to check out my stinky cat car too!

I headed east and quickly took the Corbett exit and drove old highway 30.  It was beautiful and I stopped in at Vista House.  It was closed, too early to be open, but I took some shots anyhow, and the wind blustered but nothing like the wind this location is famous for.

Looking east from Vista House up the Columbia River Gorge

I stopped at the first Falls I came to and they are numerous water falls along the Gorge highway with many pull outs and trails up the mountain.  However, at this point, my phone rang.  It was the old man in Lebanon.  He said one of his gray girls was out on the porch, should he catch her?  I said yes, and talked him through refreshing the trap bait.  He caught her.  Then I called various people to ask if they could drive up and pick the cat up and finally found a friend who answered and agreed to go get the cat in the trap.

Next I called Heartland to see if the cat could be fixed tomorrow there and they said yes.  So the cat will be fixed tomorrow, although I don't know if the old man will pay or not.  Costs $40, darn it.

Then I went up the trail to the upper Latourell Falls. The falls in the photo below is Lower Latourell Falls.  Why I did so, out of shape as I am, I don't know.  Just a glutton for misery, I suppose.  It was a mile up there to the top and a mile back down and it didn't take that long.

These falls are beautiful!

Looking down at the parking lot

I stopped in a Wahkeena Falls, but I really needed to use a bathroom and there were no restrooms there.  It was so pretty, but only a half mile farther was Multnomah Falls and lodge with bathrooms!  There were too many people around to "be a redneck", if you get my drift.  So on to Multnomah Falls.

I parked at Multnomah Falls, which is extremely popular with tourists from all over the world and found the restrooms and for some reason, I determined I had not experienced enough pain and suffering for the day with the previous vertical hike.  I started out on the arduous hike up to the top of Multnomah Falls.  That's over a mile of grinding steep uphill that makes your legs scream for mercy.

Most tourists take photos a few hundred feet up from the lodge of the Falls two parts, with the stone pedestrian bridge between the upper and lower falls.  A few hike up to the stone bridge to take selfies with the larger falls behind and above them.  And a very few, by comparison, head on up the killer switchbacks to the very top of the upper falls.

My legs screamed all the way.  I'd stop every 50 feet to catch my breath the last half mile.  My legs had begun to violently tremble.   Young people passed me or people passed me coming down.  All were encouraging.  "You can do it," the younger people would say, smiling.  A man with his preteen kids came huffing up.  He was suffering miserably.  Later when they passed me going down, he said "Only a bit farther" and one of his little girls said "You got this!"   I smiled and said "Yeah, I sure do."

I was lying.

I half crawled the last few hundred feet, too dumb stubborn to quit.  I made it, then lolled, forgetting the time.  I'd been told by this guy when nearly to the top it was only 2:15.  That didn't sink in properly.  I had to be back in Portland to pick up the cats by 4:00 p.m.

When I saw this, my brain should have said "Forget this"

Switchback Hell

Creek at the top

Dangerous Selfie

Multnomah Falls, the top part of it anyhow.  

Yes, I was at the top of that, taken from part way down.  Yes, I said part way.
It was now time for the knee killing hike down the trail, on the fly, because, it was now almost 3:30 and I was 30 miles from Portland.  Yikes.

I got lost also, exiting too early from I84 once back in Portland and wandered strange streets funneling me towards bridges across the river into the west side.  I searched in a panic, trying to find something familiar so I could find the clinic and stay clear of the bridge funnels.   Finally, finally I crossed a street whose name was vaguely familiar, turned onto it and found another familiar street, made some "out of towner" turns and found the clinic.

Of the ten Lebanon cats fixed, seven were girls.  They tested the little black girl because she had lice, but she is negative for FIV/Felk.  I also took in three cats from an Albany location, two boys and one girl.

I returned those three, once back in Albany, but the other ten will overnight here, plus number 11, another gray, who will be fixed tomorrow at Heartland.  Time for bed for me.  And some Aleve.  Oh my gosh, I am not a mountain goat.  But today I pretended.  Tomorrow, sore muscles will herald my return to reality.

Multnomah Falls is a little under a half hour drive from Portland.  Can you believe that?  Usually I sit in my car and read the day away while waiting for cats to be fixed there. Knowing now how close the gorge trails are to the clinic, if I take more cats up and the weather is good, I'll just go there.  I was headed for the Sandy River delta park, where there are also many trails, not sure what it's actual name is, but it is north of 84 when you take exit 18.  But I met the homeless couple, and their cat who was eating breakfast on their car hood.  They suggested I take old highway 30 and enjoy some of the waterfalls.  I'm glad I ran into them and took their advice.


  1. Interesting day for you with a long picturesque walk. Lovely scenery from your photos.

  2. It was a good day, whiteangel, and 13 cats were fixed also!

  3. i love the pictures from the top of the trail w/the parking lot way below! so high i NEVER would have made that go girl!!

  4. Thanks Kate!!! I do feel accomplished climbing up there, and after climbing a mile to a different waterfall. It's so hard to show distance or steepness in 2D photos sometimes. It's fun to try to create the 3D understanding in a photo, like of just how steep and high a climb to the top of Multnomah Falls really is, compared to the parking lot.

  5. What a great day and so well captured in your photos. The falls are amazing.