Pittock Mansion Hike

Right in the heart of Portland, high atop one of the west hills, sits the Pittock Mansion. Pittock MansionThe Pittocks were prominent Portland residents during the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s and were instrumental in building Portland into the thriving city it is now. The mansion was built late in their lives at the pinnacle of their success and the view was as spectacular as their lovely home.

We headed down the trail for a fairly short hike to the Stone House, right in the heart of Forest Park. This building, now in ruins, which was originally built in 1950 as an elaborate bathroom.stone houseGraffiti covered several of its walls, but Mr. N and I found a wall where we could pose.  AND, we didn’t even use the facilities!! 😃IMG_9520

Then rain started coming down. We scurried back up the path, but not before I examined each and every culvert. I wasn’t sure what I’d find, but I just had to look.IMG_9508

Mom says I missed one–she must have walked way too fast at that point.

We scampered along Balch Creek (no, I didn’t get to go in) back up the trail to our respective vehicles.

We all got wet, but that’s what happens here!

Ponytail Falls

Hiking the falls in the Columbia Gorge is always fun and you never know what you’re going to see. Mom said we were going to stop at Horsetail Falls and I had my mind all made up that this is what we were going to see.Horse

Silly me. I guess I wasn’t listening and missed the “Falls” part…

and I sure didn’t see any horses.Horsetail FallsMr. N and I cavorted up the path through a series of switchbacks lined with basalt walls. basalt rock wallsWe soon reached Upper Horsetail Falls, also called Ponytail Falls. Ponytail FallsThe water fell into a pool (how I longed to take a dip) and the path went behind the falls!

Have you ever been behind a falls?

                                 Have you ever been behind a falls?

Mom loves to know all this stuff about why we were behind the falls, so she said I could tell you. In very simple terms (that’s me, by the way), a basalt lava flow buried a softer layer of rock and soil. Then water and winter ice removed the softer material below, creating a cavern of sorts. And there we were! In the cavern.

Moving along, we hiked to a spot that overlooked the Columbia RiverBarge going up the Columbia

And found a nice spot to take a rest.Overlook near Ponytail Falls