Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Zebulon Pike and the Secret Beauty of Wahkeena Falls

(Hiking Wahkeena Falls, one of the many number of cool waterfalls in the Multnomah Falls Area.)

Traveling east along the Columbia River Gorge, I wanted to take a brief moment to note the contemporary expedition of Lewis and Clark, that of Zebulon Pike.
(Wahkeena is easily accessible from a parking lot and proves a very fun hike for all ages.)

The Pike Expedition (June 15, 1806 - July 1, 1807) set off just a few months before Lewis and Clark returned to St. Louis and traveled west into Spanish Territory through the vast prairies and grasslands toward the Rocky Mountains.  The were equipped poorly with inaccurate maps and little clothing for the winter and Pike had to leave many men behind as they climbed into the snowy mountains toward what would later be known as Pike's Peak.  
(All kind of animals and nature can be seen from the trail that winds around a little stream.)

They were eventually captured by Spanish soldiers and accused of espionage and marched through modern day Arizona and New Mexico and imprisoned, which despite becoming folk heroes to local villagers, caused a bit of an international kerfuffle.  They were eventually released and returned home, but not before Pike made numerous mental notes of military garrisons, soldier numbers, army supply lines, provincial government systems, and geography.  His notes proved vital to a burgeoning U.S. government.  
(Oh yes, and the Hartenstein girls loved a little dip in the water too.)

Anyway... while traveling through the Oregon Gorge, most visitors only stop to ponder the magnificence of Multnomah Falls, but they often fail to visit any of the lesser trails and parks in the area.  Multnomah Falls is a cool network or trails stretching from Bridal Veil to Horsetail to Oneonta.  All of these separate waterfalls are beautiful and spell-binding in their own way and prove wonderful places to hang out and discover.  

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