2014 Gorge Resolutions: Choose Your Own Adventure
Well, it is a new year. 2014 has arrived. And it is time (nearly past time) for the year’s resolutions. Typically, resolve means to “settle or find a solution to (a problem or contentious matter).” If you’re like me, your resolutions tend to be the same . . . and tend not to work. So, a few years back, I went for the other definition of resolve, to “decide firmly on a course of action.” I switched from problem-solving to goal-setting. And this year, it is all about the Columbia River Gorge.
Want to join me? Below is the result of my brainstorm. Choose 10! Or 20. Or 30. Feeling like a “Big Year”? Go for all 50. It’s time to choose your own 2014 adventure.
50 Things to Do In the Columbia River Gorge in 2014
- Hike 100 miles of different trails in the CRG.
- Visit all State Parks in the CRG.
- Visit 25 waterfalls in the CRG (there are over 90), at least one of each type (plunge, horsetail, fan, cascade, punchbowl, block, tier, and segmented).
- Visit one Washington and one Oregon museum in the Gorge.
- Tour the Lewis and Clark sites along the CRG.
- Visit a fish hatchery.
- Conduct your own naturalist study—visit and document changes at one spot 20 times throughout the year.
- Have a “three-pronged” adventure day (bike, hike, camp, windsurf, kiteboard, standup paddleboard, bird watch, fish, swim, paddle, disc golf, rock climb . . .just pick three!)
- Drive (and/or bike!) all existing portions of the Historic Columbia River Highway.
- View the Gorge from the water.
- Hike to the highest point in the Gorge.
- Read the journals of Lewis and Clark.
- Watch a documentary on the Gorge OR a movie filmed in the Gorge.
- Learn 10 new Gorge plants. Photograph and sketch them. Note their habitat.
- Learn 10 new Gorge birds. Sketch them and learn their songs and calls. Note their habitat.
- Go on a search for the rare Larch Mountain Salamander.
- Go on a search for the rare wildflower, Columbia Kittentails (Synthyris stellata)—only found in the Gorge.
- Hike to a viewpoint for a Gorge sunrise.
- Give back by volunteering for a day trail work, invasive weed removal, or litter cleanup in the Gorge.
- Stay a night in the Gorge.
- Attend a guided hike or educational program about the Gorge.
- Visit one Oregon Trail historical site.
- Visit one Native American petroglyph or pictograph.
- Find the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps in the Gorge.
- Study the Missoula Floods, who was Bretz?
- Walk through an oak grove in the Gorge.
- Stand in a waterfall “mist zone.”
- Hear the distinctive warning call or “whistle” of a pika.
- Sketch a plant using the “macro” point of view.
- Sketch the Gorge landscape from a viewpoint.
- Track wildlife prints on the beach.
- Write a letter and drop it off at the Bridal Veil Post Office.
- Hug an old-growth tree.
- Visit the site of a sawmill or fish cannery.
- Step foot on the Pacific Crest Trail.
- Learn the legend and geological story behind the Bridge of the Gods.
- Research historic photos of Celilo Falls, visit the site and imagine the power of the falls.
- Hike to a viewpoint where you can take in both Mount Hood and Mount Adams.
- Talk to a park ranger.
- Ride your bike on a section of the Historic Columbia River Hwy.
- Photograph the basalt columnar joints common in the Gorge—dark, six-sided, regular columns.
- Watch the Tundra Swans at Rooster Rock’s Mirror Lake in the winter.
- Look for petrified wood near Eagle Creek.
- Dip your fingers in either end of the Gorge—at the Sandy and Deschutes Rivers.
- Spot an Amtrak train passing through on the Washington side.
- Watch the salmon run.
- Watch the dam locks give a boat passage.
- Watch the moon rise over the Gorge.
- Stargaze in the Gorge.
- Share the Gorge with a friend
Phew! It is going to be a busy year. Best get started. Worried about finishing? #51 is “Find Bigfoot.”
Posted on January 11, 2014, in Cultural History, Plants & Wildlife, Programs & Events, Visiting the Gorge and tagged Columbia River Gorge, Crown Point, cycling, Historic Columbia River Highway, New Years, Oregon State Parks, rangers, resolutions, views, Vista House, waterfalls. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.