OUTRAGE

    Well I think we have all heard by now about the horrific Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon, apparently started by idiot teenagers lighting off firecrackers in the Gorge. Over 100 hikers were stranded overnight, but thankfully all got out the next day with no injuries. Evacuations of nearby town Cascade Locks and other communities, the fire still out of control and spreading west, and even somehow jumped across the Columbia River into Washington state. The last I heard it had reached Multnomah Falls and the historic Lodge was threatened to be destroyed by the fire, and has continued almost to Latourell Falls. The awesome Fire-workers have been hard at work to protect the Lodge and have succeeded in doing so. People everywhere are outraged by this act. Eagle Creek and the Gorge is (or was) incredibly beautiful.  Opinions are rampant on the internet. Some say the Gorge will never recover from this. Lies and fake news are also widespread on the internet and social media. I heard someone say blatantly that Multnomah Falls was “already gone”, already burned, with no facts to support their statement (this was even before the fire reached Multnomah Falls). In this age of social media-ness, people are very quick to lie, and also very quick to believe anything they read without checking facts first. (especially with politics or religion – but this is neither!). Personally, I have been trying to verify facts about this fire, but it is difficult to verify anything. However, Multnomah Falls is “not gone”. The Lodge is not burned. The effects in the Gorge are not nearly as bad as some people would have you believe. The Gorge will be changed surely, but exactly how remains to be seen.

      What about the kid that lit the fire? Thanks to one passing hiker that witnessed the act (according to her story in the news – which was upsetting to read), and to her bravery (in my opinion), authorities have apprehended the person responsible. There were multiple teenagers involved, but only one threw the firecracker. However, the investigation is still ongoing and no doubt will be for quite some time. If you follow the Story on the internet, people are calling for his head (literally). Someone said in jest that the names have not been released because half a million people in Portland want to kill him (or them). Everyone and their dog has an opinion on how to deal with these kids. I honestly think the world would be a much better place without the internet (and I am a computer programmer). There is too much hate, too many lies. I am very upset about this fire as well, and I am all for prosecuting him to the full extent of the law, and I do hope justice is served in this case, but within the law, not outside it. Let the authorities do their job, people.

        This photo is no lie. It is Punchbowl Falls in the Gorge from a few years ago. What will this waterfall look like next year? Only time will tell the answer.

          In other news, I have a big backpacking trip coming up at the end of this month. If all goes perfectly well, I will see 20 brand new waterfalls in 4 days, including (perhaps) a 400 footer and (perhaps) a couple 200 footers. I am sure it will end up being much less than that, but hopefully the trip will indeed go perfectly well for once: No injuries, no problems, no fires.

            5 Comments

            5 Responses to “OUTRAGE”

            1. Larry De La Briandais Says:

              “There is too much hate, too many lies.”

              That pretty much sums up the entire country at the moment, unfortunately.

            2. Larry De La Briandais Says:

              Oh, and I can’t live without the internet these days (remote support and it is teaching me a new language (C#)), but social media is certainly out of control.

            3. leapin26 Says:

              I don’t think anyone can live without the internet now, Larry. Kinda sad, actually. :)

            4. Kristina Says:

              My husband and I spent four days exploring the gorge in 2015. I absolutely loved it!! It is sad that someone could be so reckless! My son was passing through Portland in July on a road trip. He had less than 48 hours there. I specifically sent him to the gorge and told him to explore the trail and falls above Multanohm. Plus to be adventurous and go to Lower Oneonta Falls. He did both and the some!

            5. Karen Says:

              As I live in Portland…and about a hundred or so blocks from a level 1 evacuation area… this fire has affected the air I breathe. Thankfully today is better and we have ‘normal’ grey skies. From what they have shown on TV there is devastation, but there is still a lot of green trees. Will have to wait and see just how much devastated area there is as the fire is contained and extinguished. I can’t wait til next year to try to hike a trail.

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