Thursday, December 11, 2014

Windy Wild Coyote Wall

In April 2013, Sarah and I set out on a windy gorge hike at Coyote Wall.  Since Amy is so dedicated and refuses to miss church we enjoyed a more exposed, steeper climb.  Analise was 7 months old

Analise didn't mind the wind so much and seemed pretty cozy on this hike.

There were a few late Trillium to enjoy.

We meandered up the road and then hit the trail to enjoy the wildflowers.

The day was windy but a great day for hiking.

The flowers made me smile.

We gave Analise a chance to explore them but she was distracted by the wind and all the sights.

We enjoyed having her with us, especially since she was content.

Though I enjoy so much having my six year old wonder, the adult conversation was nice as well.

This was a pretty exposed hike with the old orchards and great views back down to the river.

There were a few wildflowers still clinging to the side of the hill but they take quite a beating.

The Washington side of the gorge still feels wild to me and is a great place to explore, especially in the spring!

What a refreshing day.

On this windy winter night, it helps to remember the soft breeze of spring. 

Metolious Riverside Camp and Black Butte Challenge

 Mom- The Metolious River has been on my list of places to see for a very long time.  In September, we took a late season trip to camp by this lovely river and experienced all this area has to offer.
Amy-  This current has a lot of rapids.   I like to make homes for the fish.  This national park has had lots of fish have died so they are trying to make the fish live a life there.
Amy-  There was a cool exploration of the park we found some shelter there was a chimney made of rocks.  There was also a fire place on the chimney.  I also got to stand on a couple benches!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Mom-We read that volunteers are trying to help restore fish habitat by creating places for them to hide to increase fish spawning.
Amy-  This is a big pine cone !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Amy-  Analise hiked part of the way.  (  She also drank her water)
Amy-  We unloaded our stuff and pitched the tent.  We also put the rain fly on so the tent does not get wet.   
Mom- We spent some time by the river watching the fish.
Mom- We packed up our camping equipment and stopped at the fish hatchery for a short walk along the river.
Mom-The fish hatchery had lots of new fish to feed and watch.
Mom-  The leaves were turning yellow.
Mom-It was fun to watch the river.  This part of Oregon is really different- much dryer and prone to wildfires.
Mom- After exploring the river, we took a drive through an active fire to the Black Butte trail head.  This hike was a huge challenge!
Mom-This hike is deceptive because it is really quite short but also has some steep elevation gain.  It was really neat to have so much time exposed with a great view!
Amy-  I walked with the hiking stick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Amy-The tower is so huge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mom-  The fire tower is still actively used.  We enjoyed the very windy view from the top briefly.
Mom-  We were proud to have made it.  Amy did an excellent job climbing.  Both girls hid behind a rock because of the wind.
Mom-  We hit the trail quickly seeing an ominous dark cloud in the sky above us.
Mom-  Analise got a few minutes of freedom before going back in the backpack for the steep hike down.
Mom-  Amy and I walked quickly to beat the rain.  Sarah kept a slower pace behind us.  Analise went back to sleeping in the backpack.
Mom-The trail was very pretty and exposed most of the way. 
Mom-It was fun to hike in Eastern Oregon and explore a different forest than we normally experience.
Amy-  We walked on a pretty trail.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Silver Falls Self Care

 I took off at 12 for an afternoon with one of my longest friends, Sarah.  This was a kid free day.  I realized I had been carrying a huge amount of stress from the health sagas of my youngest and work stress.  I had stopped taking care of myself and was feeling quite a bit of burnout and post crisis depression. I thought playing in the mud and hiking 9 miles past ten waterfalls would be just what the doctor ordered.
It was wonderful to catch up with Sarah while walking the trail.  The leaves were just starting to change color and fall.
We heard that just yesterday Winter Falls was dry but today's rain jump started it.
We spent time communing with the big trees.
South Falls was so beautiful.  Since it was mid week and a bit rainy, the park was quiet.
The tall trees make me feel at home.  Being with Sarah reminds me of home as well.  Though I embrace change and believe change means growth, it is nice to remember the stability of a foundation, a simpler time, and those deep roots that developed in childhood and adolescence.
South Falls was magnificent
We spent some time enjoying the view before heading behind it and down toward the bridge.
We continued around the long loop hike catching each other up on some of what was on our hearts and ways we have grown.
Sarah says she sees and notices hearts at times she needs comfort.  This puddle made us both smile.
We enjoyed all the waterfalls from different angles, walking behind two of them.
The fall colors were just starting to come out, and though it was a gray day, we enjoyed the contrasts.
We saw this little newt crossing the trail and spent some time enjoying his company!
Some of the waterfalls were smaller or more difficult to see, but we enjoyed all the different falls we passed.
This is double falls, just flowing a little.  Sarah did a little splashing but the cool day made me a bit reluctant.
We enjoyed going behind Middle North Falls.
Finally, we made our way back to north falls, a little stiff and sore but glad to have gotten to hike together.
I hoped to return when the leaves change more.  Fall is a great time to visit Silver Falls.  I was grateful to catch up with my friend and get a chance to enjoy the woods without focusing on the needs of my kids.  Though I love their perspective, I know I am a better mom when I get a little "me time" to recharge.