Adventures, Food, hiking, History, Philip

Hike – Silver Falls State Park

Kangaroo chose to hike at Silver Falls State Park yesterday because the teacher she works with was planning to do the Silver Falls Trail Run 7 Miler and she wanted to cheer her on. The Silver Falls Trail Runs include a 5K, the 7 Miler, a half-marathon, a marathon, and a 50K, in the main park and the backcountry of the park (where there are cougars and bears 😮). The longer races are qualifiers for other races like the Boston Marathon! The trail we took follows Silver Creek and is very scenic. It is called the Trail of Ten Falls, but we didn’t see all of them. We saw South Falls, Lower South Falls, Drake Falls, Middle North Falls, and Winter Falls on this day.

I present here the first video I have ever edited! It shows us going behind South Falls and Lower South Falls, and a video of Winter Falls.

Here are some photos of our hike. We just got drizzled on a couple of times (we needed our rain jackets more going under the waterfalls) and the rain didn’t really kick in until right after we got into the car to leave. We are blessed that that is the norm for most of our hikes in rainy weather!

Kangaroo and her friend who was running the 7-mile race.

The path to South Falls. This is one that is not far from the parking lot and probably the most popular for visitors.

South Falls

Behind South Falls looking down Silver Creek.

Witch’s Butter fungus. I call it the “mac-n-cheese” fungus!

Someone had fun with the race marking chalk!

Silver Creek

Some mushrooms.

Cat’s Tongue fungus

Drake Falls

Middle North Falls

Winter Falls

Trail up from Winter Falls

Kangaroo getting the shot of some little mushrooms.

Me also getting a shot of the little mushrooms.

The little mushrooms 😀

We stopped in the park gift shop on our way back but I didn’t get a photo of it. I should have, it is a cute log building with lots of fun stuff to buy! The log buildings in the park were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. For more info on the buildings and the park, go here. The store had a whole section of mushroom-related items, a t-shirt, a mushroom identifier card, and books, and other things. They have some cute stuffed birds that make authentic bird sounds. I picked some up and we heard two different kinds of woodpecker sounds and another bird I don’t remember the name of. They also have lots of stickers and other souvenirs.

On our way home we happened to see a sign for the Willamette Valley Pie Company and I suggested we drive over and try to find it. We had never been there and I had heard they had a nice store and, of course, pies! The Boy’s choir in high school sold Willamette Valley Pie Co. pies for their fundraisers for a couple of years and I knew that the pies were delicious. The store featured a lot of kitchen things and Kangaroo bought some towels and a spoon rest for the new travel trailer she and her Hubs just got. I keep telling her she has to think of a theme for the trailer so I can buy her things for it! Anyway, we each bought a cobbler to take home, I got marionberry and Kangaroo got peach.

Willamette Valley Pie Co. Goodness, the sky was foreboding!
Marionberry Cobbler. Their pies and things are frozen so you just take them home and pop them in the oven.

I baked my cobbler when I got home and ate my serving, and as expected it was super good. As I was eating Philip was very interested, and when I was finished he came and licked the plate. I bet you didn’t know kitties liked berries! He is unusual in that he enjoys sweet foods sometimes.

Philip getting some licks in.
The tape is Leukotape, I use it to tape up my feet before hiking to avoid hotspots.

Fall color

We had missed most of the fall color at Silver Falls, but there were a few pretty leaves left. It was a good day and we had a fun hike!

Just keep walking!

Ninja

Fall, hiking, History

Hike — Willamette Mission State Park

On Saturday we went out to Willamette Mission State Park for a short hike. The ladies at church have asked me to lead a hike in October, and I wanted to recce and see where the picnic areas and bathrooms are on the trail I want to walk, and pick a good spot for everyone to meet. We parked at the first parking lot and walked about a mile and a half to the Filbert Grove day use area, where we started what was supposed to be a 4.2 mile loop. The park is fairly flat, no hills to worry about. I wanted something that pretty much anyone could do since I’m not sure of the fitness level of the ladies who might want to join us. I also wanted to find a good place to have a snack or lunch with the ladies.

Willamette Mission Park also has a lot of history, so I hope to be able to present some history of the park to the ladies as well. This year Oregon is celebrating 100 years of its State Parks system.

Jason Lee and the Willamette Mission
100 years of Oregon’s State Parks system.

Near the parking lot we passed some blackberry bushes and Linda had to give some a try.

Someone stuck a feather in this post.

The sky was very hazy due to some fires happening around the area. We didn’t smell smoke though, and didn’t have any trouble breathing. It was supposed to be sunny and 95 degrees, but I think the haze kept things a little cooler. The sun didn’t come out much at all.

Hazy sky
The sun looked like this (zoomed in)

On our way to the Filbert Grove, we stopped to use the bathroom and saw some horses. The riders were standing on a picnic table to get up onto the horses! There are many equestrian trails at the park.

Once we got to the Filbert Grove area, we took a path that led to the 4.2-mile Willamette Mission Loop, found on the AllTrails app. The loop is on mostly paved paths with a smaller part on dirt trails. On our walk we detoured a bit to go to the Wheatland Ferry dock to watch the ferry for a minute. A man went down to the water to fish for wide-mouth bass.

Wheatland Ferry
Someone left these headphones on the little bridge (?)
The man caught a bass and was getting out his phone to take a photo. He let the fish go after he got a picture of it.

Here is some more of the history of the park. The Willamette Station of the Methodist Mission was started across the lake there in 1834. Some “ghost buildings” have been placed to represent the first mission buildings that were built on that site.

If you zoom in on this photo you can read the history of the Mission.
Mission “ghost buildings”.

On the walk you can see the nation’s largest black cottonwood tree across the lake.

Nation’s Largest Black Cottonwood
Cottonwood sign. You can see the tree in the background.

Marnie is very good about picking up trash along the way. She found more than one cigarette butt. Really, smokers? I mean, come ON.

Marnie does trail maintence.

Dirt trail.

Paved path.

There were still a few flowers and berries left here and there.

Mystery berries. We didn’t eat any.

Teasel

Pine tree.

Rose hips.

Osprey nest.

They have their own sign.

There were no ospreys in the nest that we could see, which was too bad. I guess it isn’t time for osprey babies. We saw many birds and squirrels during the day and a couple of deer that were too far away to get a photo of them, and one of these orange and black caterpillars. We wondered what kind of butterfly those turn into. (Edit: They turn into the Isabella Tiger Moth.)

Wooly Bear caterpillar.

The loop was supposed to be 4.2 miles, but somehow all our various devices said we walked between 8.5 and 10 miles. With the extra mile and a half each way back to the car from the loop start we would have added 3 miles, but we wouldn’t have made it to 8 or 10 so I’m not sure how that happened. My feet sure felt like it was more than 4.2 though! We had a good walk and I know a lot more than I did about how to plan for the ladies’ hike in October.

A warm and hazy day.
Backpacking, Fun, hiking, History, PCT, People

Hike — Milo McIver State Park

Today we took our last training hike before leaving for the PCT to Milo McIver State Park in Estacada (Oregon) at Marnie’s suggestion. The park is named after Milo K. McIver, who was a member and then chairman of the Oregon Highway Commission in the 1950s and 1960s. He was instrumental in investing nearly $1 billion on about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of new highway. During his term as chairman, Oregon led all other states in opening interstate freeways. The park contains a colony of Townsend’s big-eared bats, a sensitive species in Oregon, and the largest yew tree in Oregon (second largest in the nation!) is located in the park. There are a couple of nice campgrounds, some group camp areas, some day use pavilions, and equestrian trails. This was the first time any of us had been to the park.

We had a nice hike on the Riverbend and Maple Ridge trails, starting in the Riverbend side of the park. There are a few nice restrooms with flushing toilets in the park, which is always a bonus when hiking!

Marnie and Linda on the trail.

Linda and me, going down some steps.

The Clackamas River is close at hand throughout most of the park, and it is very scenic. They have added some channels and engineered log jams to make better fish habitat.

Clackamas River
Clackamas River — we saw a couple of people fishing and some kayakers

We walked by some of the 27 disc golf holes and saw many berry bushes and flowers, and quite a lot of daisies and Oregon Grape.

Bleeding Heart

Blackberry blossoms – lots of berries to come!

Not sure what kind of berries these are, they seem to grow quite low to the ground. Both Marnie and Linda ate one and neither of them died, so…

Daisies

Oregon Grape

There was a short trail to a landslide viewpoint. I’m sure it would have been more interesting if it hadn’t been so overgrown.

Landslide viewpoint – photo by Marnie

We noticed quite a number of snails on the trail, some brown and speckled and some white with stripes, with shells about an inch in diameter, but no snail photos were taken. We saw an owl that was annoying a number of birds, the birds were flying all over screeching and hollering. As we walked into the area the owl flew down toward my head and then into a nearby tree, where Marnie got this photo of it.

The Owl

After our hike we decided to check out the Clackamas Fish Hatchery that is in the park. Most of the pools were empty, but there were some tiny baby salmon in a couple of big pools (with some birds standing by for a meal!), and some very large salmon in a smaller pool. In the baby pool some of the fish were jumping around the water coming out of the pipes.

Pool with baby salmon

Baby salmon

Pool with adult salmon

Linda checks out what looks like a fish ladder, it flows out into the river.

The next feature of the park we went to see is the second largest yew tree in the nation. It is a Pacific yew. There was no sign to indicate which tree it was, but Linda was able to confirm what a yew tree looks like on her iPad. I had seen a much smaller one before and the only thing I could remember about it was its unique bark. We thought this tree looked like it needed some care. Since it is a feature of the park and is even on the little map, we hope that someone will come take care of it soon.

Yew tree

The last interesting area of the park we visited was the Milo McIver memorial viewpoint. A cobbled walk leads to the McIver memorial, and further on to the viewpoint deck where you can see Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, and Mt. St. Helens, although today clouds obscured all but a glimpse of Mt. Hood and a snippet of Mt. Adams.

Milo McIver memorial plaque

The memorial plaque has an interesting 3D sculpture of Mr. McIver. The photo above was taken from straight in front of the plaque, and the photo below was taken from the side.

Memorial plaque from the side

View from McIver Memorial Viewpoint – photo by Marnie

A zoomed-in glimpse of Mt. Hood

A guide to the view – photo by Marnie

After our visit to the memorial viewpoint we hopped back in the car and headed home through Silverton so we could stop at Dairy Queen, our favorite après-hike food place. We had a nice late lunch and were home by 3:00.

Everything is coming together for our PCT hike starting soon!

Just keep walking!

~Ninja