Thanks to hubs’ friend, we swung by Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens on our way out of town the next morning. Fun fact: I love rhododendrons. I have as long as I can remember. The gardens were breathtaking, even in the morning gray. They had paths and footbridges, small falls and streams, a small pond and a bigger lake. There were ducks and geese all over the place (Plus ducklings and goslings!) and those geese were both massive and extremely forward about guests to the gardens giving them food. I swear, one particularly vocal one gave my husband an extended scolding about why he had an electronic device in his hand instead of bread. We were interlopers on their home turf after all — where was the sacrificial offering? Haha. And holy cannoli the rhododendrons themselves were amazing! I had no idea they could get so tall and thick and wide! I probably could have spent all day there.
When we left the gardens we were headed toward Multnomah Falls. The road to get there is kind of narrow and you have to wait your turn and circle the parking lot multiple times to find a stop (if you’re there during a busy time, like we ended up being). But once you’re parking and looking up, it’s every bit as stunning and nature-made magical as all the pictures you’ve ever seen imply. The pictures I took in no way do it justice.
At the time, I wasn’t aware you could climb all the way to the top, but you can. I was a little wary, because that sucker looked steep, but hubs was really gung-ho about it and I figured it would be worth it so we climbed all. the. way. up. Holy switchbacks, Batman. Not gonna lie, I got a liiiiiiitle grumpy during the climb. But when we got to the top it was indeed worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing.
After we hiked back down, we were tired and damp from the misting that had been happening all day, and were more than ready for a nap! We had been planning on heading to Mt. Hood that night and camping, but due to the snow our reservation had been cancelled. Hubs quickly booked us in to someplace else that was on our way to the next destination spot so we’d at least be in the right direction. The place turned out to be really nice, but also rather reminiscent of The Shining (except on the coast).