Somewhere Between This Sucks and We Did It

Somewhere Between This Sucks and We Did It

Multnomah Falls, located off the Columbia River Gorge, just a short drive from Portland Oregon. I had heard it was one of the most beautiful waterfalls a person could ever see. So, when we made our drive from California to Oregon, I knew it was going to be on our must-see list.

It was Memorial Day and it took us over an hour to get up this little two lane road. Traffic was stop and go the whole way up but we were determined to see these falls. There was no parking anywhere and it was not a road that you could just flip around. I started to notice that most of the people walking around had legit hiking gear and shoes on. This worried me because not myself nor any of my family was dressed for a hike.

Luck was on our side and a spot opened just as we were approaching it. We parked and followed the signs to the falls. My husband had our 1-year-old on his shoulders and I was walking along with our 3-year-old. Like good little soldiers we started following the crowd and soon we were on a trail that was filled with thick tree roots and puddles of water.

The kind of hiking I am use to is over Duplo castles and if I’m being real, that’s just a very large step. So, I was being faced with making this steep, narrow hike, in flip-flops, holding hands with a wobbly 3-year-old, also in flip-flops. I had no idea how far we had to go but with every step I was regretting taking the last. My car seemed so far away and so was my husband who had left us in his dust. Other hikers were pushing by us and my legs were starting to hurt. My daughter and I were cold, whiney and continued to trip on every branch in our way.

I looked at my daughter’s face and I saw me. She wanted to give up just like I did. At that point neither one of us cared about a waterfall but I knew we had to go on. If I would have turned back, it would have taught my daughter that when things are tough, it’s ok to quit. My daughter hiked along with me for what seemed like forever and we made it. We made it to Multnomah Falls.

The falls were pretty spectacular but I was more impressed with my daughter and I.  When we caught our breath, I told my daughter how amazing she was for not giving up and making it through the hike. Yes, she was only 3 but a very smart 3. The glow in her eyes and excitement in her voice told me that this was a lesson well taught and a moment I would remember for a very long time. You would think after all of that I would have snapped a billion pictures of this waterfall but I only caught one, and It just might be my favorite from that entire trip.

A Day in Yosemite National Park

A Day in Yosemite National Park

Although all National Parks are gorgeous in their own right, I have been to Yosemite a handful of times because of its diverse landscape. Last autumn we took our children there and although the waterfalls were dry because of the drought in California, we found many other adventures to be had.

We made sure to stop at all the photo op’s including this one which features the famous half dome that is climbed by many every year.


When it is time to stop for lunch, I suggest packing a picnic and taking in the fresh air. They have many beautiful picnic areas along your drive through the park which also have tables, trash cans and restrooms. Just check out our lunch time view in this picture.

yosemite picnic

Yosemite isn’t just about scenery, they have wild life too! What animal wouldn’t want to live among this beauty? We saw plenty of birds and rabbits but the deer was the kids favorite and they were everywhere. One actually almost hit our car as it ran out into the street, so don’t ignore the watch for animals signs.wild life

As you make your drive through Yosemite, which is long and curvy, the scenery will change from forest to granite and then back to forest. It is truly an amazing drive, one can only imagine what the first settlers would have thought when coming through the area.


There are plenty of places to camp and hike, but that is not my thing. They also have a few resorts that you can stay at which are located inside the park. When planning your trip to Yosemite, make sure to check their website for area closures. Since the park gets a tremendous amount of snow, portions of the park are seasonal.