One of the things I have enjoyed about writing these books, is the chance to share places that I’ve been to and love. Multnomah Falls definitely fits into that category. It is just up the Columbia River Gorge outside of Portland (not too far away from where I envisioned Eric taking Madison on the Picnic back in TTB). It is an enormous double waterfall. It is 542 feet from the top to the lower falls and 69 feet down to the bottom. (Click the picture for an enlarged view.) The bridge that spans the falls is not only gorgeous, but it makes for a great viewing spot. It is about a mile hike up to the top (lots of fairly steep switchbacks), but once up there you can look down from the top all the way to the bottom.
I’ve taken my kids up there and hiked to the top. My son was three at the time and it was too tiring for him to walk the whole way, so I spent the majority of it carrying him on my shoulders. That made for an, uh, tiring walk. But in the end it was worth it to see the beautiful falls and have a spectacular view of the gorge.
So, when I was planning out the series, I began thinking about what cool things I would do with these Berserker powers. I quickly came up with the idea of jumping off of the falls. It’s something that a normal human couldn’t do and live, but it would be a huge rush, even for a Berserker. In fact, this scene with them jumping off the falls was one of the earliest scenes I had thought of when I first came up with the idea of Berserkers. I had imagined them all as adrenalin junkies who would do crazy things to trigger their powers. I abandoned that idea as the book took shape and it didn’t really fit, but I still kept in the scene with them jumping off the falls. And, of course, it had to be Eric who came up with that idea.
If I had Berserker powers I would totally do that.