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Posts Tagged ‘Paradise Visitor Center’

Travels With Maggie

Upper Narada Falls ... Photo by Pat Bean


“There is no wondering about what the waterfalls were like yesterday, no way to know what they’ll look like tomorrow. There will always be a shade of difference, a nuance noticed or not, but to see them right now, in this moment in their powerful splendor—that is the way to celebrate the present.” — David Gershner
 

When I’m driving and see a sign pointing to a waterfall, my heart skips a beat and I immediately pull off the road to investigate, or even take a considerable detour down a side road if that’s what required to view this cascading, frothy gift from Mother Nature.

I did the latter to view Upper and Lower Mesa Falls in Idaho, leaving the Teton Scenic Byway near Ashton, Idaho, to follow the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway. These falls flow down the majestic Snake River, which is also host to Shoshone Falls near Twin Falls, Idaho, where I lived for two years.

Many were the times I drove down to see this magnificent waterfall, whose flow varies in magnitude according to the area’s irrigation needs.

Copy of Thomas Moran's painting that hung in my living room for over 20 years.

A copy of Thomas Moran’s painting of Shoshone Falls, complete with the misty rainbow that thrilled me every time I looked, hung in my living room for many years. The original was an unexpected discovery found in the Twin Falls library during my time in the Magic Valley.

The painting by Moran, who is best known for his Yellowstone Falls images, now hangs in my youngest daughter’s home because it wouldn’t fit in my RV.

Stopping to enjoy Narada Falls during my recent visit to Mount Ranier National Park was a no-brainer. The road from the park’s Nasqually entrance that leads to the Paradise Visitor Center, where you can follow a trail and touch a glacier, crosses it.

Me playing touist ... Photo taken by a willing bystander.

From the Narada Falls’ parking area, one has a good view of the Paradise River’s rock strewn tumble just before it plunges 241 feet in two tiers. A steep but short path takes one down to the bottom of the upper falls for a much better look. If one feels up to it, a rougher hike will take you farther down the cliff for a view of the lower tier.

When the river’s flowing fast and high, one gets wet during the hike down. This day all I felt was a bit of misty spray. A sign posted on the way down is intriguing in that it informs hikers that the path they are on begins on a Mt. Ranier lava flow that occurred only a half million years ago and passes by 5 million to 23 million year old rocks of the Miocene Epoch.

At the bottom of the upper falls I played tourist and asked a female stranger to take my picture. Her husband immediately popped up beside her.

“Honey, move her to the right for a better shot,” he said after she had snapped off the first shot. So she did.

I liked her first shot better. But the humanless shot I took of the falls ended up my favorite.

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