If you’ve followed my blog or instagram, you’ll know, I’m always in for a good adventure. But Abiqua Falls was different. It was a last minute decision, a plan b if you will. My friend Kelsey, her husband Ben and I had planned to head to the mountain, but the changes in weather led us in a different direction. I’ll be honest, I was reluctant to even go out at all, Mother Nature was having a moment, and staying in my warm bed seemed like a better idea. But Kelsey and Ben insisted- so I rolled out of bed and pulled on my hiking gear.
The internet blurb about Abiqua Falls was vague, yet said we were in for 1/2 mile hike. “Great I thought, this will be cake.” I barely packed any gear and hopped into D’s truck and we headed south. The rain was pounding the truck, at times we couldn’t wipe it away fast enough. As we drove down the dirt road to Abiqua Falls, the road started to fall away due to the water. I decided my intuition said to park the truck and walk the rest of the way. Ben and Kelsey agreed. Deep breath and into the rainfall. We walked down the dirt road for about 2 miles. Then we came upon the “gate” referenced on the web- there were two trails. We took the well traveled looking path. The path started to steeply head down the side of the mountain. I started to second guess this whole day. It’s pouring rain. We are covered in mud. Trying to traverse down a mountain face with just a rope tied to a tree. The earth under our feet was falling away 300 ft down into the river below. I was terrified. We had already endured so much to get to this point, and I kept thinking “this is only 1/2 mile.” Finally, it was decided we would turn around- too dangerous. Relieved.
As we walked back up the hill, Kelsey said, “what about the other path?” I felt like I had escaped safe and sound, should I dare try again? But the group decided to take a look. So we ventured down the path less traveled, and ironically, that made all the difference.
We made our way down a much easier path to the base of the mountain. We came upon the river, which was filled high due to the storm. It had washed away our trail. We continued along the river’s edge. Sometimes taking a path into the river – scrambling along to find this waterfall.
When finally, I laid my eyes on Abiqua Falls. I couldn’t breathe in that first moment. I don’t know if it was the journey to get to that point, my roller coaster of emotions, or it’s shear beauty. But it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen.
We all stood there, rain pouring down our faces, beaming. Abiqua Falls, you are stunning, you are powerful, and in that moment you were mine.