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Silver Falls State Park, OR

Thanks to an internet acquaintance, we learned about the Silver Falls State Park. This park has a 9 mile hiking trail, with 10 major waterfalls along the route. Known as the Trail of Ten Falls, it was too good to pass up, especially since we’ve hiked most all the waterfall hikes along the Columbia Gorge. It was a beautiful day, so the timing was perfect.

Right away, we were impressed by the falls we saw. The falls tumble over basalt lava flows, and erode the softer ground underneath. This makes for some excellent opportunities to walk behind the falls for a truly unique perspective. We opted for the slightly shorter route (6 miles) which gave us most of the major falls. Really a beautiful park, and highly recommended (although we hear that on the weekends it gets very crowded). Here are a few highlights; more images in our Flickr album (see blog roll).

South Falls, 177 ft.

South Falls, 177 ft.

South Falls from behind

South Falls from behind

A different view of South Falls from behind

A different view of South Falls from behind

Middle North Falls,  106 ft.

Middle North Falls, 106 ft.

Top of Middle North Falls

Top of Middle North Falls

Bottom part of Middle North Falls

Bottom part of Middle North Falls

Lower South Falls, 93 ft.

Lower South Falls, 93 ft.

Winter Falls, 134 ft.

Winter Falls, 134 ft.

Horsetail Falls, Columbia Gorge

July 10, 2014 1 comment

Took advantage of the great weather to take a hike up to Horsetail Falls. A nice hike, with three falls. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go all the way to Triple Falls as a landslide has blocked the hiking trail. But it was a nice hike, and the views of the Gorge are spectacular.

Lower Horsetail Falls

Lower Horsetail Falls

Middle Horsetail Falls

Middle Horsetail Falls

Underneath Middle Horsetail Falls

Underneath Middle Horsetail Falls

A view of the falls from behind

A view of the falls from behind

Main view of Middle Horsetail Falls

Main view of Middle Horsetail Falls

Upper Horsetail Falls

Upper Horsetail Falls

This was a little disconcerting, it was a long way down

This was a little disconcerting, it was a long way down

And this kept us from getting to Triple Falls

And this kept us from getting to Triple Falls

A view of the original road tunnel

A view of the original road tunnel

A view of the Gorge, looking east

A view of the Gorge, looking east

Oregon coast, Part 1

June 18, 2014 1 comment

Our first stay on the coast was in Florence. It is near the Oregon Sand Dunes, as well as the mid Oregon coast. Also close by are the sea lion caves, Heceta Head lighthouse, and Cape Perpetua. And, not to forget, the Spouting Horn.

The Oregon Dunes is the largest body of sand in the US, almost 47 miles long and 2 1/2 wide. It is both a natural preservation area and a much used recreation area for dune buggies. We learned that hiking in sand is not as easy as on dry land!

The Heceta Head Lighthouse was built in 1894 and is still in use today. The light is visible from 24 mikes out at sea, making it the most visible lighthouse on the west coast. It is a favorite subject of photographers.

Cape Perpetua is a prominent hill, with some of the best coastal views in Oregon. In 1933 the CCC built an observatory here to watch for enemy ships. It was quite a hike from sea level to it’s 800 foot observation point! Nearby is Devils Churn, Thor’s Well, and Spouting Horn .. all quite a sight when the tide is in.

Heceta Head lighthouse

Heceta Head lighthouse

Romola on the beach neat Heceta Head

Romola on the beach neat Heceta Head

Farm market in Eugene

Farm market in Eugene

More farm market in Eugene

More farm market in Eugene

Beautiful purple colors

Beautiful purple colors

Darlingtonia California, an insect eating plant

Darlingtonia California, an insect eating plant

Cape Perpetua, quite a climb to the top!

Cape Perpetua, quite a climb to the top!

Looking south from Cape Pepetua

Looking south from Cape Pepetua

Observatory on Cape Perpetua

Observatory on Cape Perpetua

Looking north from Cape Perpetua

Looking north from Cape Perpetua

Romola at the observatory

Romola at the observatory

Spouting Horn

Spouting Horn

Sand buggies on a climb

Sand buggies on a climb

Motorcycle vs. sand buggy

Motorcycle vs. sand buggy

Distan view of Heceta Head lighthouse

Distan view of Heceta Head lighthouse

Mt. Shasta, CA area

We spent a few days in Mt. Shasta, CA. Beautiful area, high mountains, waterfalls, meadows and lakes. The upper mountain trails were still closed due to winter snows, sure hope to come back here for more hiking.

Mt. Shasta from our camp site

Mt. Shasta from our camp site

Lake Siskiyou shore at our camp site

Lake Siskiyou shore at our camp site

Mt. Shasta from Lake Siskiyou

Mt. Shasta from Lake Siskiyou

Lower McCloud Falls

Lower McCloud Falls

At Middle Falls

At Middle Falls

Middle Falls, McCloud River

Middle Falls, McCloud River

Upper Falls, McCloud River

Upper Falls, McCloud River

A pedestrian bridge on the Lake Siskiyou hiking trail

A pedestrian bridge on the Lake Siskiyou hiking trail

Dogwood (?)

Dogwood (?)

Wild flowers

Wild flowers

Wild Flower

Wild Flower

Green Rocks, a 500 million year old rock formation

Green Rocks, a 500 million year old rock formation

Castle Crags, granite, and 150 million years old

Castle Crags, granite, and 150 million years old

Mt. Shasta, volcanic, and 500,000 years old

Mt. Shasta, volcanic, and 500,000 years old

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls are the highest falls in the US. And probably the most photographed, too! There also are several hiking trails; the Lower Falls is paved, wheel chair accessible, and very crowded. The Upper Falls trail is steep, rocky, and gains almost 3,000 ft. in 3 miles.

We first did the lower, then went halfway up the Upper trail to Columbia Rock. Whew, that was enough for us! But great picture opportunities along the way.

A view of Lower and Upper Yosemite falls

A view of Lower and Upper Yosemite falls

John, posing at the bottom of Lower Falls

John, posing at the bottom of Lower Falls

Halfway ip, and the view gets serious!

Halfway ip, and the view gets serious!

If you don't think it's steep,  look where you just came from

If you don’t think it’s steep, look where you just came from

Romola on her way up

Romola on her way up

Romola pointing toward Half Dome

Romola pointing toward Half Dome

Yeah!  We made it half way!

Yeah! We made it half way!

Valley of Fire, Nevada

May 24, 2014 2 comments

The Valley of Fire is located less than an hour north of Las Vegas, close to Lake Mead. It gets its name from the bright red rock formations, but also because it gets to be over 120F (50C) in the summer.

One area is known as “Mouse Tank” and contains a valley filled with Indian petroglyphs. Even though time is starting to erode them, it is still possible to make out the huge amount of indian art.

But there is more to it. There are many geologic formations of different colors and different shapes, giving an erie effect to the landscape. Perfect for hiking, and photography.

Very sandy in many places.

Very sandy in many places.

Slot Canyon

Slot Canyon

Baby arches (?)

Baby arches (?)

"Fire Wave" - unique formations

“Fire Wave” – unique formations

fire2-14 Hard to see, but lots of petroglyphs[/caption]

Indian petroglyphs

Closer view of Indian petroglyphs

Lava formations as far as the eye can see

Lava formations as far as the eye can see

“Lost” in the dessert

May 14, 2014 2 comments

Thought a hike would be in order before it got too hot here in Vegas, so elected to do the Potato Knoll hike in Red Rock Canyon. Just under 5 miles, very little elevation to worry about. Off we went, but did add water before we left… and a good thing, too.

Turns out there are many side trails, and most are not marked. You guessed it, we followed the wrong trail. We realized that we were unsure where we were, and where we were going. But we knew the general direction of the parking lot. After a lot of trial and error, we cut cross country, where we thought the parking lot was located. At last, we could see the parking lot from a rise. Excellent, so we headed for it. Wrong parking lot, Oh well, at least we were on the road and another 1/2 mile walk brought us back to our car.

We never were in real danger, we had water and emergency supplies, and cell phone coverage, although spotty,ensured we could always have a way out. In the end, we enjoyd our somewhat linger hike.

From the parking lot.  Potato Knoll far ahead

From the parking lot. Potato Knoll far ahead

At first, trail is easy to follow

At first, trail is easy to follow

Then it becomes more hard to find

Then it becomes more hard to find

But the cactii were beginning to bloom

But the cactii were beginning to bloom

OK, we're behind the knoll, which way?

OK, we’re behind the knoll, which way?

Maybe this way?

Maybe this way?

Or thgis?

Or thgis?

Beautiful desert surroundings, thougn

Beautiful desert surroundings, thougn

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