Gorton Creek Falls · Gorton Creek · Wyeth Campground · Columbia River Gorge · Cascade Locks · Oregon · USA

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The beautiful sight of 148-foot-tall Gorton Creek Falls (with 99-foot lower tier seen here) lording over its mossy canyon is the reward for braving the quarter-mile or so scramble up the bouldery talus slope that comprises its outflow creek--itself every bit as photogenic as its namesake falls. In prior forays I made the mistake of carrying along a trekking pole to help steady my descent, as my top-heavy pack tends to shift my center of gravity to one of two extremes: happily standing upright or flat on my ass cursing with buttockular pain. This time I decided to shuck the pole and free up my hands for climbing, and I found the coming and going much, much easier. Once again, though, in what's becoming a rather disturbing trend for me, I dipped my feet into bone-chilling water going for a comp that ultimately proved only subtly different (and not necessarily any better) from the one accomplished with dry, happy, and much warmer feet. This is the happy-foot version. Someday I'll process the miserable-foot version just so I don't feel like I did it all for nothing. Or I'll seek counseling for my stupidity.

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