Big Spring Creek Falls

Last weekend, in celebration of the start of my 41st year on the planet, I spent a few days with my pal Sassy exploring areas around Hood River that I had not visited before. Believe it or not, there are still corners of the Gorge I have not seen before.

On the last day of our trip, we decided to take a drive up to Trout Lake, and spend some time exploring around Mount Adams. I haven’t spent much time around that area, so we were kinda flying blind. We picked a Forest Service road, and just started driving.


Big Spring Creek Falls is one of those spots we stumbled upon. We were overjoyed to find such a beautiful, moss covered waterfall. Sassy sat and took in the peace of the place, while I climbed all over it with my camera and tripod.


This truly a magical spot. Granted it was Monday, but we only passed a handful of other cars the entire day. I look forward to going back and exploring this area more, away from the crowds that you find in other parts of the Gorge and around Mount Hood. There is nothing these two explorers enjoy more than “discovering” a new waterfall.

Where will your next adventure take you? – Cari aka “Cookie”


Categories: Cast Iron Women, Columbia River Gorge, Fall, Hiking, Mountains, Random Photos, Washington State, Waterfall Wanderlust, Waterfalls | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

National Eat Your Vegetables Day

“Down South, even our vegetables have some pig hidden somewhere in it. A vegetable isn’t a vegetable without a little ham hock.” – Paula Deen


All of us probably had a Cast Iron Women at some point in our life tell us to eat our vegetables, so here is your friendly reminder. Enjoy some today, no matter how you like them – fried up with a little bacon, in Thai inspired stir fry, or maybe a tasty summer salad.

What’s your favorite way to eat your vegetables?

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Mount Hood Wildflowers – Bear Grass

Bear Grass, also known as turkey beard, squaw grass, elk grass, and soap grass.


Bear Grass – Umbrella Falls in the background

Actually a member of the lily family, it grows in subalpine meadows from British Columbia south to California, and as far east as Montana and Wyoming.


It is sometimes referred to as fire lily, as the rhizomes survive wildfires and it is often the first flower to bloom repopulate the landscape after such an event.


Bear Grass is more than just a wildflower. Native tribes had many uses for this plant. Poultices of the roots were made to treat wounds.

The leaves a favorite basket making material – as they dry they become tough and durable, are easily dyed and made into watertight vessels.


Image courtesy of Maryhill Museum of Art –

I like it because it’s pretty. Right now these flowers are reaching peak bloom. You can find them almost anywhere around Mount Hood, above pass level. The snow free slopes of Mount Hood Meadows are a particularly good spot to see them. Or, if you are traveling through Government Camp on your way to mountain adventures, you will see them almost everywhere along side the highway.

Bear Grass Meadow at Mount Hood Meadows

Bear Grass Meadow at Mount Hood Meadows

 Want to take the hike and see for yourself? Click here for all the information on the Umbrella Falls Loop Hike you need to plan your own adventure.

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Throwback Thursday — Photo Yoga Edition

It’s Thursday — aka “Throwback Thursday” — and so Sassy would like to share this precious memory of Director of Photography, Cookie, doing “photo yoga” at the Gorge White House in Hood River, OR in Spring of 2013!

2013-04-21 07.17.48

Categories: Cast Iron Women, Columbia River Gorge, Flowers, Hood River, Mountains, Oregon, Spring | Leave a comment

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