Of course there are pictures!
There’s a bunch more pictures here.
Because of our later start, the hike up to the falls was warmer and sunnier than expected. But we weren’t in a rush; we stopped to admire the Sandy River (gray with silt, and running fast and cold), crawl about on a split boulder (see photos) and note the steep, crumbly slopes across the narrow gorge we followed. We kept a pretty good pace, but for a while we were behind two Little Old Hiker Ladies, who were traveling just a bit slower than we were. sanguinity guided us past them, and we all strode purposefully uphill for a while, giving ourselves a substantial lead.
I really like sanguinity and grrlpup as Hiking Companions. And I’m not just saying that because I know they’re going to be reading this; our hiking styles feel quite compatible. Sometimes we walk close together, tell stories and talk about all manner of things. Other times we let the distance between us widen, and we walk quietly with our own thoughts. There’s always time to pause for berries, wildlife, interesting things to look at, or just a chance to splash in a stream; it has never felt like “we can’t stop, we’re not there yet!” And they tolerate my weird obsession about watching for bears.
I noticed that grrlpup is smiling cheerfully in almost all the photos I’ve taken on our hikes. I don’t know whether this is because I’m not sneaky enough to snap a picture without her noticing (and she wants to look her best for photos), or because she’s just happy to be hiking. I hope it’s more the latter. sanguinity generally looks amused by my attempts to take candid shots.
Ramona Falls are stunning. They’re almost unbelievable, as if one might expect they exist in a fantasy-art painting, but never somewhere so mundane as the Real World. The falls are too wide and tall for my camera to really capture them, so when you look at the pictures, imagine them as even more amazing than what you see. One could sit and watch the cascade for hours, except for the plentitude of flies in the area (which weren’t a problem on the rest of the trail). So we didn’t stay long. The downhill terrain was even nicer than the uphill trail; with some fascinating rock formations in the cliffs and a clear stream (also quite cold).
We also passed more hikers on our way out, some of which didn’t look well suited for eight miles of moderately rugged hiking. By the time we got back to the car I was feeling quite warm, but we ate the second container of berries (the Leader Treats I brought!) and avoided Gresham, so the time passed quickly on the way back.
I meant to work on my query letters after I got home, but I think I’m destined to always nap after hiking. Which is not a bad thing, but between that and watching more "Monk" and reading a bunch of Lamb, the Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal, I didn’t get much else done.
So it was a pretty good day, even if it wasn’t exactly what I planned.