Multnomah Falls and Cannon Beach

January 28th, 2014, 4pm

I joined my Fictive Kin colleagues in Portland, Oregon for our latest work and play retreat. On the first day — eager to get away from the hum of thirteen laptops — we piled into two rented vans and headed East to Multnomah Falls, then West for Cannon Beach.

Multnomah Falls is a waterfall on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge. The falls drops in two major steps with a total height of around 620 feet. It looks magical and remote, yet is only a 30-second walk from Route 84.

Multnomah Falls

Thanks to our driver Chris heading West instead of East our van arrived much later than the other one, so we only had a few minutes to grab photos with our half of the team.

The fragile bridge had some workmen on it, looking confused as they began trying to fix a massive hole caused by a falling rock. Cold and thirsty, we retired to the lodge for a warm and brief drink, and then back to the vehicles, headed West.

Cannon Beach calls itself a city but the population is only 1700 so that makes little sense to me. Upon arrival we rushed in to Bill’s Tavern for some pitchers of dark ale before heading off to the beach.

Hey, you guys! Wandering around Cannon Beach, it’s impossible not to think of The Goonies movie, with a number of it’s key scenes filmed around the beach and Haystack Rock. I adored that film when I was a kid (still do). Fictive Kin never say die!

Running onto Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach is one of the most photogenic spots I’ve ever visited. It’s almost impossible to take a bad photograph in any direction. Weird light, clear reflections, crazy space rocks and psychedelic lichen.

A line of Fictives reflected in the wet sands created an opportunity to mimic Echo & the Bunnymen’s Heaven Up Here cover — although that was actually shot on a Welsh beach, so I’m told.

Heaven is Here?

Walking towards Haystack Rock, I had “a moment” and found myself contemplating all the hard work, decisions and opportunities that had brought me to this place.

Later we all came together by Haystack Rock and I gathered everyone for a couple of quick team photos. I’m not sure what happened to Bedrich at this point but we found him again and headed back to Bill’s for more pitchers and hearty food.

We traveled home along Route 26 in largely pitch-black darkness, save for occasional headlamps and light from remote houses. Tired from our big day out, most of us snoozed whilst Tyler and Chris got us all home safely. Then we went to the pub.

A day to remember with my Fictive family.

Deb, Jessica, Robin, Craig and 2 others said thanks.

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Simon Collison

Designer, Fictive Kin partner, and New Adventures organiser. Speaker at design events, occasional writer, frequenter of airports. Thoroughly nice chap.

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