Monday, March 24, 2014

Play Day

My Lebanon friend and I headed up to Silver Falls state park this afternoon.  We were only there a couple of hours, but I will be sore tomorrow, from the hike.  We did not hike the ten falls trail, which is over 9 miles and includes three trials, but we hiked from N. Falls, via the rim trail, to Winter Falls, then cut down Winter Trail to Canyon trail, took a left at their connection and went down to see about four waterfalls before retracing our steps.  Except on the way back on Canyon Trail, at the Winter Trail turn off, we remained on Canyon Trail all the way back to N. Falls and the parking lot.

  If we'd wanted to hike the entire loop we would have continued on the left fork from Winter trail down Canyon trail all the way to south falls and then back the Rim trail to the N. Falls parking lot and Becky's car.

The final falls we saw, N. Falls, spooked Becky badly, because the trail went behind it under a massive overhanging cavern of rock.   I looked up, after she said something about being spooked, and she was gone.  She literally sprinted the trail behind the falls up the other side, which included some incredibly steep concrete stairs.

I caught up with her along a chain link fence, which lined the cliff side of the trail.  The other side was rock cliff, sometimes low enough I had to duck to keep from hitting my head on a rock.  She was talking to a man who had asked her to help him figure out how to take a picture on his smart phone.  She didn't know how.  She asked me to help, but I didn't know how either.  I've never had a smart phone.  Some young people were coming up the trail at that time, so I asked one if he could help.  Kids, you know, they have grown up on smart phones.

We're the super friendly types on the trail, saying hello to everyone.  One guy we chatted with said he was from Eugene, but the two teen girls with him were exchange students from Europe.  One was from Finland and the other, Norway maybe.  He was beat red and sweating trying to keep up with them.  He said today isn't so bad as yesterday, all day at the Lloyd Center Mall in Portland shopping.

Although on most of the trails, no dogs are allowed, wouldn't you know, but way out, there's someone with a pitbull.  This reinforces the stereotypical image of pitbull owners as being self centered, ignorant white trash with small penis issues.  Not all pitbull owners are that way, we all realize.

And we finally made it back to Becky's car.  It was a grand adventure.  Silver Falls state park is not that far away from where I live and yet I've only been there once, when I was very young.

I took a lot of photos but I'll just post some of them.

Switchback on Winter Trail.  From the N. Falls parking lot we took the Rim trail that rose to the top of the canyon and followed beside the road, to the Winter Falls parking lot.  We had tried stopping there to park and hike but it was full of badly parked cars, that took up two spaces each, most out of state, which made us make native Oregonian entitlement remarks about having their out of state badly parked cars towed so we native Oregonians could get a spot.  From that point on the Rim Trail, we took the Winter Trail, which was steep, but downwardly steep, with switchbacks.  It finally met up, river level, with Canyon Trail.

Another beautiful water fall, might have been Drake.  You can walk behind this one too.
We met many people who seemed completely lost and would ask where the trail they were on went and how could they get back to such and such a place.  We had one map brochure.  I would recite the trail system, which I had quickly memorized.  In the end, we gave the one map brochure to the group who seemed the most lost.

This waterfall is just past the little trail that goes up to Double Falls, but I can't recall the name of this one. In this photo, the bridge at the top is where the trail takes off up to Double Falls.
Double Falls

Rainbow at the bottom of Double Falls

Winter Falls
Might be Drake Falls, can't recall the names.   You can walk behind this one.
Looking out through Drake Falls, from behind it!

N. Falls

N. Falls with people in the cavern behind it

N. Falls, taken from behind it

N. Falls hits its pool

N. Falls in all its glory
Part of the trail behind N. Falls in that rock cavern

Some concrete steep steps.  My knees were aching!  Lots of up and down extreme today.

We had fun today and we didn't even leave for the falls from Lebanon until almost 2:00 p.m.  It's not far to Silver Falls state park.  We took the back roads.

One problem with this long trail system is there are no bathrooms and very few places to get off the trail to pee if you need to pee due the steep canyon walls.   I told Becky we need devices like this to carry next time. (click link) There are several different ones now on the market and would sure make things easier on a girl.  Pee like a guy with The Whiz!

We've had three very sunny days but the forecast is for storm after storm starting tomorrow, so I wanted to do something today.  Great day at a beautiful state park.  But there were lots of people there.   Like I say, there were no parking places available at Winter Falls and we got the very last parking place left at N. Falls.  If we hadn't got that one, I guess we would have gone back home.

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