Adventure Part 4: Echoes

I’m more-or-less back at work now after having spent the better part of two weeks in the Nevada desert between my climbing friends and one of my best friends.  I can say for certain that the entire time I’ve been out adventuring, I’ve continued to learn, grow, and integrate the experiences that I am picking up back into a more coherent and engaged reality.

One of the many hot springs lining the landscape at Tecopa Hot Springs at the edge of Death Valley in California.
One of the many hot springs lining the landscape at Tecopa Hot Springs at the edge of Death Valley in California.

I am finding that I am more willing to take risks and go out on a limb after pushing myself both at fourteen-thousand feet as well as sea-level.  A lot of the experiences that I have encountered in the last three weeks have made me realize that I am capable of a lot more than I thought.  A lot of what I thought was an inordinate amount of risk turned out to be a veritable Goldilocks Zone of opportunity.  In short: I needed this push more than I initially thought.

After spending those two weeks in the Nevada and California deserts, I made my way North toward Portland.  The Cascades are among some of the most beautiful mountain ranges I’ve ever encountered, and the photos fail to do the views any semblance of justice.

Lake Shasta itself is a fantastic view from any angle.
Lake Shasta itself is a fantastic view from any angle.
The foliage is so thick and so green that I felt as though if I walked off into the trees, I'd never come back.
The foliage is so thick and so green that I felt as though if I walked off into the trees, I’d never come back.
A view from one of the pull-offs in Lake Shasta, CA.
A view from one of the pull-offs in Lake Shasta, CA.

Since I had a day before I had to go anywhere or do anything even remotely close to being an adult, it was suggested by my host that I check out Vista House at Guy W. Talbot State Park and Multnomah Falls at the Columbia River National Scenic Area, both of which lie on a frontage road that parallels Interstate 84 along the Columbia River.

At the risk of engaging in hyperbole, I will again reiterate that this part of the country is green in a way that isn’t easily captured in words or photography:

The Columbia River as seen from the Vista House balcony.
The Columbia River as seen from the Vista House balcony.
One of the many thickly-vegetated areas of the state parks surrounding Portland.
One of the many thickly-vegetated areas of the state parks surrounding Portland.
Wahkeena Falls looking magnificent.
Wahkeena Falls looking magnificent.
Multnomah Falls from ground-level just above the visitor center.
Multnomah Falls from ground-level just above the visitor center.
From the top of Multnomah Falls at the Observation Deck.
From the top of Multnomah Falls at the Observation Deck.

This trip has definitely given me a lot of food for thought and a lot of wonderful opportunities to see new things and grow as a person.  I hope to include more travel in my life and maybe some effort given to photography.

I’ll probably be back in Boston sometime at the end of the following week.  Not exactly looking forward to leaving such a beautiful state, but this adventure is nearing its end.  With any luck, more will be on the way soon.

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