Columbia Gorge – Oneonta Gorge



OCTOBER 7, 2012

Info:  From the Oregon Hike Book by Sean Patrick Hill. The Columbia Gorge, as impressive as it is, isn’t the only gorge around here. Take the Oneonta Gorge, for instance, a narrow slot sliced into sheer volcanic rock extending back more than a mile into the cliffs. On a summer day, with the right clothes and footwear, it’s possible to wade back into the gorge to a secret waterfall. The more common way to see this gorge is to climb up and around it, passing numberous falls and crossing a crazily high bridge on your way to a triple waterfall falling on Oneonta Creek.

Directions: From Portland, drive I-84 east to Exit 35 for Ainsworth Park and follow the Columbia Highway to the right 1.5 miles to the Horsetail Falls Trailhead parking area.

Jenn’s View: This is an interesting hike. More of climbing logs and wading to shoulder height water and a little bit of rock climbing. THIS WAS FUN AND HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! As long as you are not afraid of getting wet and cold and climbing.

OKAY OKAY, I know it has been FOREVER since I have written on this blog. I’m catching up. I still have a couple hikes that were done early 2013. It’s June 2, 2013 and I’m working on a 2012 entry?!?!?! What’s up with that?!?! Sheez, for geez-sakes Jenn – get to the point! Well, one reason I had a delay in hikes or entry is this:

Foot Surgery

I had foot surgery on January 23, 2013 and recovery is gonna be at least 6 months. I can do some things (most things) now but every now and then my foot reminds me of my surgery. I will be getting the other foot done the end of this year —  I know I know – just get on with the hike, we are tired reading about your foot.

Okay, I drove from Scott’s house in Terrebonne to the Columbia Gorge to meet Jodi for this special hike. I kept promising her that I would go hiking with her in the Gorge so be it… we did it. I forgot I had both my dogs, Shadowlynn and Muffy so hoping for something easy because of Muffy. Hmmm, I was in for a surprise.

Now this place gets photographed quite often. It’s absolutely beautiful with the right camera and lighting condition. Too bad, I didn’t have a camera but just my camera phone. I really need to invest in a camera :(.

Here is a one of the photographs of the place when the water level is insane. This photo credit belongs to Peter Lik.  I saw his gallery in Miami and fell in love with his work.

Photo by Peter Lik

Photo by Peter Lik

The first obstacle is to face the very steep stairs. With a dog that pulls, I had to be extra careful not to fall.

Steep stairs!

Steep stairs!

Just a few steps you will see interesting little coves and then low and behold you come to your next obstacle. Getting older, I tend to be a bit more cautious on what I climb and what I do. I seem to lose my balance easier than when I was younger.
So, I had to lift Shadowlynn up on these logs along with Jodi’s dog Maxie. Of course, my dog is hesitant and resists the assistance on these logs but I can’t leave her behind, so up so she goes. Maxie seems to do better and notice she absolutely LOVES water. Shadowlynn’s Lab part of her never kicks in but her Bordie Collie side does and HATES the water. She’s shaking and shivering like I’m going to sentence her to death but she did well and made it over ALL while I am holding Muffy in one arm!
Oneonta Gorge  Oneonta Gorge  Oneonta Gorge
Okay, We made it over all that mumbo jumbo logs, dogs and all! Now is the wet spots… We had to cross the creek, wade in the creek, and try to avoid the creek from getting into should height waters by climbing the rocks. Mind you, it’s October! The water is sooooooo cold. My feet are already numb from going through the water. I should have worn sandals. I had to figure out what to do with Muffy most of the time because she has never swam in the water and man, she has no undercoat so nothing is going to keep her warm. But we did it and we made it!
160  141  Oneonta Gorge
Oneonta Gorge
Oneonta Gorge
Holding Muffy while crossing the creek!
Oneonta Gorge
If I’m not holding her, she’s in my backpack!
In order to get to the waterfall, you have to decide whether or not to go THRU the water or try to go around. The bravest goes through but the ones who are smart, climbs the wall with a dog in their backpack! LOL
Oneonta Gorge
Once you cross the water, you have reached the end and to the small waterfall. I bet it’s bigger during the Fall/Spring time but I bet you would have to take a canoe in or something.
Oneonta Gorge Oneonta Gorge Oneonta Gorge
Now it wouldn’t be my blog without a picture of me. Muffy became camera shy….
Jennifer Piol

Jennifer Piol

My bestie and me finally hitting the Gorge!

Oneonta Gorge

Jodi Williams (Gibbons) and Jennifer Piol

I highly recommend this hike but prepared to be cold and wet…. Have fun and don’t forget to check out our Facebook page…

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Product Review – Osprey Talon 22


The Osprey Talon 22 pack is perfect for all your done-in-a-day pursuits. It’s designed to accommodate a multitude of outdoor activities.

  • Lightweight Osprey AirScape back panel features ridge molded foam with air channels covered in airy mesh
  • Mesh-lined, perforated shoulder straps and hipbelt save weight and enhance breathability
  • Panel-loading main compartment holds lunch, an extra layer of clothes and tools
  • Osprey Talon 22 pack accommodates a variety of back lengths with an adjustable torso?: just rip it, adjust it and stick it
  • Front stretch pocket is ideal for stashing jacket, helmet, book or other often-used gear
  • Zippered stretch mesh pockets on hipbelt are large enough for your compact digital camera in 1 and snacks in the other
  • Twin stretch pockets on shoulder straps, sized to fit cell phones, GPS or just stash the end of your hydration tube
  • Hydration compartment is accessible from outside, between torso adjustment and pack compartment (reservoir sold separately)

Jenn’s View: Oh my goodness, I love this pack! I use it mainly on the longer hiking trips (5+ miles) unless if I have my kids with me and have to carry their stuff or they are using my smaller back pack (the Outdoor Products H20 series- I’ll do a product review some other time on this one). I knew I needed a backpack so I started my search. I’m a true believer in consumer reviews. The more positive, the better. It seems to work for me. When I read this, it had all 5 stars and over 20 reviews.

The small everyday hydration backpack by Outdoors Product

I got the Osprey Talon 22 backpack from my dad and mom as a birthday gift. So AWESOME! Love you mom! Love you dad! Even though my dad did get me the WRONG backpack I asked for. I even gave him the print out and PICTURE of the darn back pack and he still gave me something completely off the wall! His reasoning,  “this backpack says it is a “girls’ backpack and the salesperson says its nice AND it’s on sale” (in the strong Filipino accent). The Osprey Talon 22 pack carries everything. I have my bear spray in one of the side pockets so that it is easily accessible in the “just in case moment” (GOD! I hope it NEVER EVER happens where I encounter a bear or a cougar – my poor dog would be the first to go – I better get two BIG dogs –give me more time to run! (jk) since my little Maltese would be a cookie to the hawks, bears, cougars) My first aid kit sits at the bottom of the pack- again, hope I never have to use that.

My Bear Spray.

There’s these little pockets that sits at my waist with zippers. That is where my small digital camera would reside or my phone. Easy to take out and snap pictures. I use to have a small Sony(?) Elph Camera until I kept dropping it and finally killed the poor thing. 😦 I think I use these pockets more than ANY of the other millions of pockets in this pack.

It even has a cool Osprey picture. My little side pockets. Found a map/brochure of the last hike I did – Mary’s Peak

The little pockets on the straps houses my tiny LED “pocket” flashlight and my whistle with a compass on it. The front snap helps keep the pack stay put. Even with my small chest, it handles quite well. Adjustable so Scott can use the pack. The mesh and the curved back keeps air flowing but I still get a sweaty back. It’s cool because it says “airscape” on it.

It has an area to add a hydration pack. I have taken the hydration bladder out of the small backpack and put it in this one. It does make this pack a bit heavier though and tough to run with all the stuff hanging from it. I hang my dogs collapsible water bowl from it.

Overall, I love this bag. It cost me about $99.00 from REI but very well worth it.  I will definitely stick with Osprey. They seem to get excellent reviews.

Makaila and I. I’m carrying the Osprey Talon 22

I picked up this Kelty Redcloud 5400 backpack. This thing is a BEAST but it’s suppose to be a multi-day pack.  I will put up my review when I actually get to use this beast.

UPDATE June 2, 2012: I have seen sooooo many people sporting this backpack. Next person I see, I will interview them and ask them how they like it. 🙂

PLEASE Leave me a comment if you have this pack and tell me how you like it!!!!!

I would love to buy more OSPREY stuff if money allows it to try it out and review it. Maybe I’ll just have to find a sponsor to allow me to do that 😉