Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Today may be the only sunny day we have this week, so we decide to use it to the full. Although it is sunny, it will be cool – high 60’s maybe.
I begin my late morning with a back-and-neck yoga class. It’s a really good workout. I don’t know which will hurt more tomorrow – quads or hamstrings.
Bob picks me up after the class. (I have stopped at Harvest Fresh on my way to buy a couple of tomatoes, a couple of bananas, and some cherry tomatoes. I succumb to temptation and buy a hazelnut bar cookie.) We have smoked salmon spread (salmon from Josephson’s Smokehouse in Astoria, OR), sauerkraut-rye bread from Roth’s, a pear and spicy V-8 in our cooler.
We journey toward and through Salem, Oregon’s capital city, and east on 22 to Highway 214. We are soon in a bucolic setting – acres and acres of perfectly conical Christmas trees of various sizes, interspersed with what are clearly large farm operations. There are no herds of cattle or sheep, just fields and fields. All is green. The road twists and turn, takes unexpected right angles; gives us a view, as we crest a ridge, of the ranges to the east. Shades of blue in the distance color the hills and greens paint the valleys.
Highway 214 takes us, eventually, to Silver Falls State Park. Here we meet an entry fee kiosk, and buy a day pass ($5). A year’s pass is $30, 2 years $50 – but they don’t sell those at the automated kiosk. We find a picnic area, and fetch our jackets from the car. It is 59F and bit chilly in the breeze.
We enjoy our lunch. The salmon spread, made with excellent salmon and Tofutti’s Sour Supreme is tasty, as is the bread. The pear is luscious. We have a little Spanish chorizo as well, and that is good. The Spicy V-8 is too much for me; I switch to water. As soon as we leave our picnic table, a crow swoops in to see what we might have left. Poor crow – nothing there.
We have perused the Xeroxed trail map over lunch, and decide to do a 5 mile loop that will take us past most of the falls. We leave our jackets in the car, take water, and hike fairly quickly. Our route takes us past South Falls, Lower South Falls, Lower North Falls, Double Falls, Drake Falls, Middle North Falls and Winter Falls. We return along the canyon rim. The end of the hike, blessedly, slopes down as we return to creek level.
We stop at the Nature Store run by the Friends of Silver Falls and buy a wildflower book. We’ve seen quite a few flowers along the trail, only some of which we recognize. The gent behind the counter remarks to me, “You look exhausted.” And then he back-pedals , “That’s good because it means you’ve been having fun.” Ha!
As we leave the store, we discover a flower show in the Lodge, wildflowers, all identified. I identify the white flower shown above (it's not in our book). Hurrah! (Of course I have forgotten -- didn't write it down.) We pause to refill our water bottles and eat the hazelnut bar. I should have stuck to lemon bars. It was ... meh.
We retrace our route (almost – one unintentional detour) to Salem and stop at Costco. Ah, the smell of big box stores in the afternoon. We are home late and throw together some pasta for dinner. I will sleep well tonight.