In early October, the Columbia River Gorge received record rainfall. A couple of days after it stopped pouring, Daisy and Andy flew up to Portland from California to hold their elopement in Oneonta Gorge, a stunning mossy slot canyon in the thick of the recent deluge. When we met at the trailhead, we were greeted by the loud roar of water--the normal stream had overflowed until it filled the canyon even in the widest section.
Rather than being daunted by the sight of the roaring waters, Daisy and Andy decided to adventure on. Accompanied by a guitarist (Ken), and Andy's brother (who was to officiate the wedding), we all strapped on our water shoes and picked/waded/sloshed our way across the creek and up to the log jam. Andy scouted for us, determining that we couldn't venture much further without swimming. So, instead of heading into the cold, soaking canyon, we all claimed a log, put down our things, and prepared for a wedding
You know, like you do on an average Friday.
Once my heart rate calmed down a bit and I'd strapped my backpack to a handy branch so I could access all my gear, I looked around to see the absolutely exquisite, glorious beauty of the mossy palace around me. It was completely surreal, standing perched on a huge tree in my Chacos, watching three people change into wedding attire, listening to Ken playing his guitar. The moss was electric green, and once every few minutes, a DAZZLING sunbeam would come down to hit all the water drops pouring down the sides of the rocks.
Once preparations were complete, Daisy and Andy stood together on side-by-side logs, read their vows to each other, water rushing in the background and the sound of guitar music echoing gently around us. It was absolutely amazing. In the middle of the ceremony, a landscape photographer began swimming out of the slot canyon. Once Daisy and Andy were pronounced husband and wife, the adventurous photographer clapped and shouted his congratulations from the water as he climbed up onto the log jam. A handful of other hikers clapped as they climbed onto the log jam from the other direction.
We splashed our way out and headed off to a thundering waterfall further into the Gorge, then headed back to Vista House to finish our adventures under the windy blue sky.
This was definitely one of my more adventurous days, and I am so happy I got to share this wild, beautiful wedding journey with Daisy and Andy. They are two very special, fearless, amazing people!