Spontaneous Road Trips
There is nothing like a good road trip to create memories to last a life time… and stories to share for weeks to come with friends and family. Don’t we all need a few more exciting stories to share? The more spontaneous, the better. I don’t know why, it just holds more… magic to the moment. Today I wanted to share with you the story of my rather spontaneous road trip with Mr. Radhuber took Oregon to hike the Oneonta Gorge.
Unforgettable 1-Mile Hike
I’m a member of a Facebook group for moms who like to hike in my area, it’s a great way to meet new people. Also, it’s a great way to be inspired and find new hike to try. One day another member posted the photo below and everyone in the group was ‘thumbs up’ing and commenting. So I thought ‘let’s click through and read.’ Usually I would just save the link and pretend I will look at it again, but I always forget. #ShortAttentionSpan
This hike is in Oregon, it’s only about an hour long -total- and it’s so unforgettable that you’ll have stories to tell people for YEARS! That’s what this article promised me if I hiked the Oneonta Gorge to the lower falls. Instantly the thought was in my head, this is a cool hike and would be cool to do.
The Planning Of a Hike
I told Mr. Radhuber about the idea, and my mom. They both thought it was a cool idea for me to consider. Also, Momma Bear thought it would be a good idea to consider bringing Gregory over for a visit the next few days. Quickly I realized this was the perfect opportunity. Within the next two days I was on the ferries with Gregory to my moms and wondering how far away Oregon was to drive.
Once back home I decided I must seize this opportunity, the moment… the day? I must live life to the fullest and just hike this bad boy while my motivation is hot. I google mapped the driving route… about 5 hours from the CANADA/USA Boarder.
Just under 550km from home.
One tank of gas each way, getting better km’s on the return thanks to the ShoMobile.
Basically It was decided that I would hike this thing, and do it ASAP. This was a day trip, easily. Did I think I was crazy for driving in a car 12 hours, two states, and one country for a one hour hike? Yes. Did I think it was going to be worth it? Yes. And now, as a result, I have a wicked awesome story of how I hiked the Oneonta Gorge, and you’re here reading it. #WorthIt
The Road Trip
After very little research, I realized this was a popular destination. To get some private viewing of the falls I would need to arrive early. In the cold. Like, after sunrise. I’m no newbie to sunrise hikes… okay, technically I am with only one under my belt. The point is I knew from at least one experience it was going to be chilly. This hike was going to be NO EXCEPTION.
Not wanting to spend the night anywhere, I figured it best to leave in the middle of the night, drive until dawn, hike, drive home in the morning. With a nap the day I leave, passing out when I arrive home, and not having any responsibility of being a mom… it seemed like a solid plan. Informing Momma Bear and Adrien of my plans, I would leave the next evening after an already scheduled meeting I had.
Recap: Read an article of a hike. Three days later and I was about to leave, pretty spontaneous if you ask me.
Anyways, Adrien decided he wanted to come along for the hike and I thought ‘Great, another person to drive the car.’ Little did I know he was going to be a CHAMP and drive the whole way. Getting to the boarder at midnight, we arrivedat the Oneonta Tunnel at 7am. We made a few pit stops for potty breaks and got lost as we were trying to find the Tunnel.
Pro Tip – Drive the Historic Columbia River Highway as soon as you see it. Also, make plenty of stops at the other scenic pull offs. I want to make a trip out here with Gregory to see them all. There is lots to see, give yourself plenty of time.
Parking and walking towards the tunnel, you don’t go through it. Instead you pull off towards the right to a stairway and path into the bush. It’s easy enough to follow. Up and over a rock leads you to the stream where you are going to walk into and over the log dam directly in front of you. The water is cold. You will get wet. There is no way around it. In fact, you just might get really wet if you can’t manage to do a little rock climbing… more on that later.
NOTE: Bring water shoes to wear on this hike. I repeat, bring water shoes for this hike. It’s what you’ll wear as soon as you get to the fun part.
The Log Dam
Climbing over the log dam is actually really fun, it’s the start of the adventure and to get to it you must walk through water. This water is freezing, and there is no other way around it. We wore water shoes and carried out regular shoes… I suggest just wearing your water shoes and ditching your shoes in the car.
The log dam is easy to manueveur, just keep an eye on where you are going. Don’t fall in, and maybe stop to view the scenery around you before you make it to the other side. I am glad I got some video footage because I wish I spent longer enjoying the views. #JustLikeAvatar
Once over the log dam you start hiking in the water. It’s ankle deep to thigh deep in areas, again, really cold. It’s all a part of the experience, hey? Being so early there was no one else hiking while we hiked to the falls, but on the way back the corridor filled up quickly with large groups.
At one point in the gorge you must either climb the side of the rock wall and wade about thigh deep… or wade in up to chest deep in water. Now, my original plan didn’t include this rock climbing option. I figured if I got wet here, I might as well swim close to the falls if I could. However, my plan also didn’t account how much of a baby I would be to the cold. Remember, it was 7AM.
The lower Oneonta Falls don’t take long to hike to. I’d say about 15 minutes, tops. OH man, is it ever worth it! It sure is cold, and no sunlight was around which added to the shiver I got from the mist. Being surrounded by rock cliffs shooting straight up around me and seeing a waterfall before me was pretty spectacular.
Around the falls there are cairns and if I recall there was at least one inukshuk. I was too cold and shivering to make my own… low body fat percentage doesn’t give much insulation for these cold hikes. It was the only reason why I left the falls, I was to cold.
A RAD Recap
So, I read this article one day. Dropped my son off to my mom the next. Planned the trip and drove to Oregon with Mr. Radhuber all within a 4 day time span. To hike 1 hour- total, to a waterfall. At 7AM, through freezing cold water. It was totally wicked, totally worth it, and I recommend EVERYONE do this. I want to take Gregory when he is a bit older and can manage the logs. You can check out our adventure in this ourRADhouse vlog.
Before You Go
This was wicked, again, I highly recommend. And, if you live in Vancouver, you know it can be a weekend adventure with a friend. #JustDoIt
In need of another road trip idea? Check out the Othello Tunnels in Hope. Or head over towards Squamish and hike the Stawamus Cheif if you’re looking for a workout. Don’t worry, the Shannon Falls are right there, you get to enjoy beautiful nature if you can’t hike up to the top. Oh, and don’t be afraid to bring your kids along with you to these ones. I took my son, and the road trip was no problem with my Road Tripping with a Toddler Tips. Check it out, and check back next week for another RAD adventure.I have my next #Adventure now to plan the #RoadTrip and make some memories #Hiking #ourRADhouse Click To Tweet