Sunday morning. Umpqua National Forest, Oregon. Cold air. Gray skies. 272-ft waterfall. The waterfall cascades over a cliff. The sound drowns out any thoughts that may have been in my head. I am surrounded by staggering rocks on all sides, glistening from both the rising sun and the mist that coats it. I can see water jumping off the rocks where the falls meet the ground once again. I climb up slippery rocks to be closer to this point. It is so cold outside but I feel the need to be close to the water, to be touched by it. I turn around and look out, seeing nothing but trees and mountains. The sun is still making it’s way up, climbing steadily through the sky. I can feel the water now, landing on my skin delicately. It is a perfect moment.
It was a perfect moment. I spent the summer traveling out west, visiting National Parks and Forests, camping and playing. My favorite place by far was the Umpqua National Forest in southern Oregon. This particular Sunday morning was not the only perfect moment that I had in the forest. Drive along Route 138 and there are more waterfalls than I can name practically at your fingertips. If you’re willing to put in just a little work, you are rewarded with views like Watson Falls. It’s about a mile long hike to get to the falls, easy to moderate.