Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hardy Falls

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Here's another installment in my late and somewhat disorganized series about Hamilton Mountain, on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge. Hardy Falls is the first waterfall you encounter, before you get to Rodney Falls / Pool of the Winds, and the expansive viewpoints further up the trail. It's not really the main event of the hike, and you don't get a good view of the falls from the trail. The only viewpoint gives you a distant view of the falls from above and off to one side, so you get meh photos like the one here. You may get the colors and exposure better than I did (the first photo was taken with a crappy point-n-shoot camera back in 2007), but you'll be taking the same basic shot, because it's the only one. Officially.

That said, I've seen photos floating around the net that are obviously taken from somewhere else, apparently down near the base of the falls. I have no idea how you'd get there, though. The terrain suggests it would be a steep and dangerous scramble, and the photographers behind these photos never seem to include a description that lets us in on the secret. I mean, if it involves bushwhacking through thickets of poison oak or rappelling down into a ravine or something I probably wouldn't do it even if I could find instructions. As a young Cub Scout it was constantly drummed into me to always stay on the official marked trail, otherwise you're causing erosion and stomping on poor innocent plants and making Woodsy the Owl cry and so forth.

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