Tuesday, May 17
Finished exploring and photographing the waterfalls along old Highway 30 on the Oregon side of the Columbia River gorge, we set out to do some hiking in the area of Horsetail Falls. We had hoped to take the Rock of Ages trail to the top of the gorge, but without a map, which we had been unable to obtain, we could not find our trail and ended following the Gorge Trail first to the east and then to the west enjoying whatever we could find along the trail.
Large False Solomon's Seal and Western Baneberry
Pacific Bleeding Heart
We hiked under one falls, Oneonta Falls, and when I say "under" that's exactly what we did. It appears to me that at sometime a path was blasted behind the falls and this is where we went through to the other side. It was hard to get pictures there, but I did try, though there are so many falls in the area, that after a while they are indistinguishable from each other.
We found a lot of wildflowers including two native orchids, the Western Fairy Slipper, Calypso bulbosa var, occidentalis, and the Western Heart-leaved Twayblade, Listera cordata var. cordata in both its color forms, though the red form was nearly finished blooming. We also found another waterfall along the trail and had some spectacular views of the gorge. The hike was not strenuous and not what we had expected, but we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and were delighted to find the two orchids.
I managed, among other things to get some decent photos of a Stellar's Jay and of two favorite wildflowers, the Fairy Bells and Fendler's Waterleaf. Finished hiking around 2:00, we headed for Portland and for my speaking engagement and the home of the some of the members of the Oregon Orchid Society at whose home we cleaned up, changed and got ready for the meeting. After the meeting we drove home through the night and arrived back tired by satisfied.