Monday, November 17, 2014

Silver Falls in the Autumn Light

Fall colors had finally started to really show near the end of October, so we planned a little trip down into Oregon. We stayed the night in Salem with Ivan and Terry, and then we went to Silver Falls SP in the morning. Silver Falls is Oregon’s largest and most popular state park, and there is almost always loads of people there. But after some very rainy days and it being Monday, the park was pretty quiet.

We hiked most of the Trail of Ten Falls with all of us (about 5 miles). Dana went the extra bit to see all the waterfalls, and Magnus also did one extra part.

The first and biggest waterfall was South Falls. It is very pretty there and we love seeing it.

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By this one there is a short detour to see the very small eleventh waterfall: Frenchie Falls.

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South Falls is also pretty cool because the trail goes behind it and there are lots of cool tiny caves to explore.

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The trail continued downstream and we admired the pretty colors in the trees.

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Soon we came to Lower South Falls, which we had not been to before. The trail also goes behind this one. See if you can see Ruth and Magnus to the left of the falls in the second picture.

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Going behind:

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We took a family photo here:

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The trail then wraps around and heads up the North Fork of Silver Creek. Soon we found Lower North Falls.

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Double Falls and Drake Falls:

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Middle North Falls was Dana’s favorite.

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A side trail also goes behind this one.

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Twin Falls and Winter Falls:

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Upper North Falls:

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Magnus and Dana went down to North Falls together. North Falls has an enormous cavern behind it that you can walk through.

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View from behind:

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We had a great day at Silver Falls and ended with a nice meal in Silverton, OR. Fall is really a nice time to get outside.

Will at Rock Fort

Will had a work conference in The Dalles, OR, which is not too far from us, so we met him out there one evening and had some wonderful pizza with him. We also visited Rock Fort, which is the location where Lewis and Clark camped while they were in the area. It’s a neat little place with some nice views of the river and mountain.

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Lewis and Clark liked the protection of the natural rock walls.

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We had a nice visit with Will and were glad we could come out and spend some time with him.

Friday, October 10, 2014

14 Waterfalls+3 Lakes=2 Awesome Days

Dana started Fall of right by trekking through the woods to find some waterfalls that were on his list. But first a special thanks to an awesome wife that let him go in the first place.

Several of these waterfalls are in the heart of the Gifford Pinchot NF and 7 of them had no trail to them. So, with a map, a GPS and some descent directions I went into the woods.

The first stop was Chambers Creek Falls (1). It was a shorter scramble than some, but well worth it:

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A nice view of Mt. Adams and then a stop at Walupt Lake:

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I located the suggested starting point to get to Walupt Creek Falls. Soon, I found the log jam to cross the creek and bushwhacked through the forest.

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I passed Upper and Middle Walupt Creek Falls (2 and 3):

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Then I came to the cliff-side view of the giant that is Walupt Creek Falls (4):

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I found the faint path to the bottom and had a lot of fun climbing around the falls. They are very big and hard to get into one photo (221 feet tall, 267 feet across, and a run of over 400 feet).

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The water was very cold, but the low water level allowed me to get a shot of myself in the falls. At high water nearly the whole face can be covered.

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There was a nice little pool created where the falls entered the Cispus River with cool rock pillars seemingly watching over it.

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After that hike, I found a nice place to camp on the side of a dirt road for the night. The next day I drove over a pass on a very iffy dirt road (about the middle is when I knew I should have gone around), but I made it to Olallie Lake and then Takhlakh Lake, with its nice view of Mt. Adams.

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Near Babyshoe Pass I found what was left of Babyshoe Falls (5) at a lower water level.

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Big Spring Creek Falls (6) has three tiers and a lot of pretty moss:

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My next big scramble was to Steamboat Falls (7) on the Lewis River. I really liked this one and how it sat in this rock section of the river.

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Twin Falls (8) flow into the Lewis River at a defunct campground. You could already tell Autumn was here with all the pretty colors.

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Langfield Falls (9) is very pretty:

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The trailhead is right near Big Tire Junction. Can you tell how it got that name?

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I noticed this little trail that had a spot where Native Americans had peeled the bark of some cedar trees to use for a multitude of purposes. Apparently you can find trees with the peeled bark through out the region.

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My next goal was to get a better view of Little Goose Creek Falls. I have been to this canyon before, but did not find the way down.

Upper Little Goose Creek Falls (10) and the cool basalt column cliff:

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Little Goose Creek Falls (11). I got down to them, and then my camera ran out of batteries, and my backup was not charged. But I still got some nice shots.

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Trout Lake Creek Falls (12), they are small, but very pretty. I also got a Huckleberry milkshake at the Trout Lake Café.

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Heading south to the Gorge along the White Salmon River, I stopped at BZ Falls (13):

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And Husum Falls (14), where I got lucky and watched several kayakers run the falls multiple times. It was fun to watch them.

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Bonus: With the recent rains after a long dry spell, the mushrooms were out in full force. These are two I thought were pretty cool looking.

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