Shepperd’s Dell Falls – Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Shepperd’s Dell Falls, in the Columbia River Gorge along the historic highway. Many people drive right on by, not realizing a beautiful waterfall lies just beneath the bridge. When other spots are crowded, especially on a weekend with beautiful weather, one can almost always stop here and enjoy a few moments of solitude.


The land where the falls resides was given to the City of Portland by George Shepperd, the original landowner, as a memorial to his late wife in 1915. They were named in her honor. The land later became part of the Oregon State Park system in the Columbia Gorge.

Unfortunately, someone has taken it upon themselves to add their own art to that of Mother Nature. I really wavered on posting this picture, as I don’t want to promote graffiti in natural places in any way. However, I think this brings awareness to what is becoming a HUGE problem in places that are so well loved. The stone work here dates back to the building of the highway, almost 100 years ago. So not only did this person mar the natural beauty of the place, but they also desecrated history. This has been done recently, as I have pictures from this same spot almost exactly a year earlier and the graffiti was not present. (This picture was taken just a few weeks ago.)

Fortunately, more people are realizing this, and actually calling people out they catch in the act. There was recently a story that went viral about someone doing just that at Tumalo Falls in Central Oregon, which has brought a TON of awareness to this issue.

Want to visit this spot of natural beauty yourself? Oregon State Parks has all the information you need to plan your stop here, which can easily be done in conjunction with a day trip to the other waterfalls of the Gorge. It’s an easy walk down from the highway on a paved path, so you don’t have to be in peak physical shape to see this beauty.

Categories: "7 Wonders of Oregon", Cast Iron Women, Columbia River Gorge, Hiking, History, Oregon, Random Photos, Spring, Waterfalls | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Memorial Day 2015

“The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.” – Jeff Miller
The ladies at Cast Iron Women would like to thank those that sacrificed so much in order for us to enjoy the freedom we have today. Today you are remembered.
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Whimsical Friday

Here’s something a little whimsical to kick off your Friday. This is a terra cotta pot sculpture in the Children’s Garden at the Oregon Garden in Silverton, Oregon. A great place to spend part of your holiday weekend if you happen to live in this part of the world. Wishing everyone a great day, and here’s to some ‪#‎CIWAdventure‬ this long weekend!

-Cari aka “Cookie”


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Remembering Mt. St. Helens Erupt

On May 18, 1980 at 8:32 am Mt. St. Helens erupted. For those of us living in the Pacific Northwest at the time, it’s a day that will live in infamy. I really wish I remembered more about that day, but most of it is a jumbled mess.

Photo courtesy of USGS, T. Casadevall

Photo courtesy of USGS, T. Casadevall

I was five and a half, in kindergarten. Our house was on a hill in Gresham with a clear view across the Columbia and straight to Mount Saint Helens. I remember that there was nothing else on TV except the news with talk of the volcano. That old Harry Truman, who refused to leave his cabin at Spirit Lake was presumed dead, and I remember thinking it was so sad the President died.

I remember ash coming down like snow, and everything being covered. Especially my dad’s car. That it was dark outside when it shouldn’t be. There wasn’t school for quite a while. After we returned, we wore surgical masks because of the ash in the air.


Family photo, dated May 18, 1980 of some of the early ash fall on Cari’s father’s 1969 Dodge Charger.

I was too young to fully grasp what an extraordinary situation was happening. Didn’t everyone live with a volcano in full view of their backyard? Why was it bad to go play in the sandbox that was coming down from the sky?

Months later or maybe a year — I honestly don’t remember and the family photos aren’t marked — my dad took us on a family drive up to see the destruction. They had just started letting people in, and I think he was itching for the chance to go see. (I know I would have been, and that’s probably where I got that particular personality trait from.)


Cari’s dad, Dan, holding her younger sister on the banks of the Toutle River.

 We stood on the banks of the Toutle River, just off the freeway. I remember it looked more like the beach. Trees twisted and stripped of bark and branches, and the river pumping dirty water.


Undated family photo of the Toutle River and bridge after eruption.

We drove up the road – cars alongside of it still buried from the eruption. As it got dark, we came upon a house filled with mud. Someone had tunneled out the hallways, and it was quite the attraction, with a group of people assembled. We walked in, the rooms with mud and debris almost to the ceiling. My dad flicked his lighter to see better – a bat flew out and dove at my head.

Photo of a young Cari inspecting the eruption aftermath.

Photo of a young Cari inspecting the eruption aftermath.

These are just some of my memories of May 18, 1980 and they aren’t completely clear. What memories, of any, do you have of this day in both Northwest and American history? Share it in the comments below!

-Cari aka “Cookie”

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National Buttermilk Biscuit Day

Today is National Buttermilk Biscuit Day!

Here at Cast Iron Women, we like them all kinds of ways. Cari prefers them with sausage gravy. Sassy likes them in Cheddar Bo form from Bojangles, only available down east in North Carolina. Bee, of course, loves them with honey.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy a biscuit?


Oh, and lest I forget, word is Popeye’s Chicken is giving away fresh biscuits all day in honor of the holiday.

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