Sunday, August 24, 2008
Silver Falls Park, near Silverton, Oregon.
We drove down to the park yesterday and did the medium-length hike: about 5.6 miles. It was gorgeous. Steep in a few places. Crowded around South Falls. Rocky. Slippery here and there -- partly due to accumulated water and sometimes, we discovered, due to our shoes. We each were wearing our walking shoes (technically, they are running shoes; but I use mine for walking - they offer the stability and support my feet need as I travel down this fitness journey). The shoes didn't have enough traction for a few places and it felt like I could use a little more stabilization and/or support on some rocky parts.
It was peaceful, even with the crowds and especially after the turn-off for the short hike (about 2.1 miles) where most of the families and large groups went to return to the south falls picnic and swimming areas.
The weather was perfect, the air clean and fresh (corny as that sounds, it's true and I can't come up with anything else at the moment), the creeks and falls rushing over rocks and fallen trees soothing.
By the time we returned to the parking lot, we knew we'd walked a good distance. And it felt good. We will do it again -- and have three or so books between us to help us choose. We also now have one excursion to use as a comparison guide when we make our plans. This hike was rated moderate and with an elevation change of somewhere around 980 feet. Right now, "moderate" is probably as much as we want to push it. Maybe next spring or summer we'll attempt one "difficult", depending on the reasons it carries the label (no whacking through brush or rock climbing ... not yet, anyway).