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Falling Hard for Waterfalls

52 Week Adventure Challenge

05.01.17

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Falling Hard for Waterfalls

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  • Approaching the base of Loowit Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Upper Lewis River Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Falls Creek Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Panther Creek Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Beaver Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Drift Creek Falls with the suspension bridge in back.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Lower Kentucky Falls adorned with colorful leaves.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Silver Falls on the southern Oregon coast.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Abiqua Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Upper Butte Creek Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • North Falls, Silver Falls State Park.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Ramona Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Tamanawas Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Weisendanger Falls on the Franklin Ridge Loop.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Punchbowl Falls at high flow.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Tumalo Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Toketee Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • 165-foot Lemolo Falls on the Umpqua National Forest.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Faery Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Kings Creek Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Alamere Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • The Yosemite Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Havasu Falls is a 90-foot to 100-foot vertical waterfall that goes over a cliff into a large pool.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Mooney Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Secret Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Falls along Stairs Gulch.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • 110-foot Lower Emerald Pool Falls and Behunin Creek Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • The first waterfall along the Kanarra Creek Trail.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Cirque of the Towers waterfall.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Ouzel Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Bridal Veil Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Moss-covered rocks at the base on Bear Creek Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
  • Perfect backdrop after a mild hike to Phoenix Falls.- Falling Hard for Waterfalls
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Contributor

A waterfall is a place of violent contrasts, a symbol of simultaneous chaos and serenity. In Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road, the man and the boy find reprieve in the waters below a waterfall amid a post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland. Jaguar Paw leaps from the top of a waterfall in order to escape Mayan warriors and return to his home in Apocalypto, and so does Dutch to escape the Predator in the eponymous film. The breaking of the Fellowship occurred at the Falls of Rauros, where Frodo and Sam crossed the River Anduin while Boromir’s body fell into the oblivion below the cascade.

We visit waterfalls to awe over their erosive power, the overwhelming noise of their cascades, and the unexpected beauty of their contrast: a world most often frozen in time where arboreal stalwarts stand motionless in the backdrop of a constant swirl of frothy waters. For this week’s installment of the #52WeekAdventureChallenge we celebrate the waterfall, and there’s no better time to do so than the spring. During this season the spectacle is at its peak, when the sun shines and the snow melts, bringing from the mountain passes the melting snow of winter passed. Every time it does, these places grow more spectacular.

Waterfalls form in a variety of ways: differential erosion of the rock, horst-and-graben crustal stretch, the gradual erosion of limestone, or violent erosion from external processes. Perhaps the most violent conceived is the last of these, exemplified by the historic Dry Falls of eastern Washington. Though long dry, the waterfall at the end of the last Ice Age is thought to have been more voluminous than the combined flow of all modern day rivers. Glacial Lake Missoula, dammed by the ice of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet, spanned 3,000 square miles, and drained over Dry Falls when the ice dam broke—as it did several times between 20,000 and 15,000 years ago. In an instant, water poured over Dry Falls, cutting the Columbia River Gorge and inundating the Willamette Valley all the way to Eugene.

These days the ice sheets have retreated (too far) and the waterfalls are far more peaceful. The West holds some of the most beautiful on the North American continent, and they are ready for your exploration.

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#52AdventureChallenge

We believe good things come from people spending time outside. We strive to provide inspiration and supporting information on incredible adventures to make it easy for you to get outdoors and explore new places. We understand that life is busy, but we strongly encourage you to make time for outdoor recreation on a weekly, if not daily, basis. To keep you inspired all year, we've put together a list of 52 geologic features and adventure themes. Check them out and join us in our #52AdventureChallenge!

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