Hiking at Silver Falls

DSC05523-001Throughout April thoughts of blogging would cross my mind but by evening either I was knitting or spinning (usually some of each) with little desire to be staring at a screen. I even started working on some photos shortly after hiking at Silver Falls State Park; editing them and uploading them in readiness to blog before getting sidetracked and forgetting all about them until this evening.

Looking back I’m struck by all the goodness that April held, despite the exceedingly many days of rain. Towards the end of March a friend, Rose, who works in Slovakia emailed to let me know she was coming to Oregon, would I be able to walk the loop at Silver Falls  April 3rd. Knowing how wet some of the sections of those trails can be, especially going behind the falls I told her I’d pray for clear weather.

While there were downpours the week leading up to the hike we had two days of no rain and the morning dawned sunny. What a blessing! A Slovak friend, Ren,  accompanied Rose in order to practice English and see this part of America. Two other friends of Rose who live relatively close by, joined the hiking party.DSC05523-001
Can you make out the specks in the center of the picture on the backside of the falls? They are people on the trail that passes behind South Falls.

I was surprised at this chunky, sturdy fence. For many decades there had only been a small metal handrail between the trail and edge, a thin barrier that made parents fervently grasp their children’s hands. DSC05529
The path is now narrower but significantly safer.
DSC05534

Looking back from the other side.
DSC05542
Looking back up the trail.
DSC05545

Instead of walking the big loop we ended up taking one of the shorter loops of just under three miles. Wildflowers, moss draped branches and the rushing creek caused us to stop numerous times to marvel at all the beauty we were walking through.
DSC05552-001

I should return mid-summer to snack on the fruit of this blossom,
salmon berries.
DSC05559-001

Down, down switchback steps to Lower South Falls.
DSC05566

DSC05571

DSC05572

DSC05578

DSC05580

We’ve had 148 days of rain since Oct 1st, which was evident in the thick moss and fast flowing water. This past February was the wettest on record for Salem, dating back into the 1800’s, with March close behind, and it looks like April will also finish in a top position for rainfall amounts. Crazy wet!

The sun shining through the trees felt like grace.
DSC05585

Looking across the canyon at the steps we’d just descended.
DSC05588

Going down meant going back up, and up the other side.
DSC05591

Near the top Rose took a break to hug a tree, after all, she is a native Oregonian!
DSC05602
Crossing the tiny Frenchie Creek Falls plummeting 48 feet — which only runs during wet seasons — presented a perfect photo-op for the bit of spinning I managed while on the trail.
DSC05609
Back at the top of South Falls for one last look.
DSC05610
What a wonderful, refreshing day! I hadn’t realized how much I’d needed to take a walk in the woods, along a creek, with friends.

By the end of the day, this is how I felt:
DSC05615
Ebo didn’t seem to mind dangling off the chair.

Advertisements