Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Tale of Two Trails

This summer is off to a wonderful start, to my way of thinking.
This week Mark and I went for two hikes!

On Thursday we hiked to Ramona Falls with our friend, Geoff. The weather was a perfect 70ยบ and we had a wonderful time hiking the 7.5 mile loop. You can't go wrong with this classic Oregon hike.

 The boys - crossing the Sandy River
 See what I mean about the perfect weather?

 Iconic, incredible Ramona Falls.
There's no other way to see it except by walking there.

The rhododendrons were in bloom!
Like walking through a pink garden in places.

Then today Mark and I drove to Wahtum Lake and poked around for several hours. We hiked about 4 miles in all, give or take a few bushwhacks along the way.

We'll be coming through here next month on a backpacking trip, and we wanted to have a better idea of some of our trail options. Also, we wanted to confirm the driving directions as we'll be sharing them with other hikers. 

Today's weather was not so auspicious, but we had a wonderful time anyway. Gotta love Oregon's "liquid sunshine"! We both have good rain gear for hiking, which makes all the difference in this kind of weather. If you're dry on the inside, it's easy and fun to be out in the wet. 

 We hiked east around the lake to Chinidere Mountain, then we took the "shortcut" trail back to the lake. Whoo! It was a steep downhill trail. Glad we checked it out on a day hike - we would not want to tackle this trail with loaded backpacks. 

(Special note for our friend, Ken, who loves to hike around mountain lakes. This link describes our hike today, except that we didn't take the trail to the top of Chinidere Mountain...yet... We didn't find this link until after we came home today, when we were glad to find the explanation of the mysterious water pipe we saw on the "shortcut" trail.)

 Delicate fawn lilies in bloom everywhere.
 It was a maze of trails in places - some were not on any of our maps. 
We were glad we went on our exploring hike today. 
 After a few hours, the weather cleared. 
Then back to the parking lot via the "Wahtum Express" trail--250 steps UP!
What an awesome workout. 

I honestly can't say which hike I liked better. It was wonderful to be out in the glorious weather on Thursday. We've had such a cool, rainy spring, that it was such a treat to hike in the sunshine. The Ramona Falls trail always makes me feel like I'm in the Garden of Eden, with its beautiful little stream-lined path, sheer rock walls, and the beautiful falls. Geoff was a great hiking companion, full of energy and funny stories. We couldn't have asked for a better hiking day!

But then today was really fun, too. Spending a day outdoors in the rain would get old if I had to do it day after day, but for just one day, especially inside our dry-and-cozy rain gear, I didn't mind the weather at all. Eventually the clouds lifted and the rain let up. We were the only ones out on the trails, which is always a special experience. We felt adventurous, exploring trails we hadn't hiked before, and finding unexpected trails that weren't on the map. We had a wonderful workout, and it brings me so much joy to spend a day outdoors with my sweetheart.

Oh, I love to be outdoors in the woods! How about you? Do you love to hike, too? Where do you like to go, and what weather do you like to hike in?


ken said...

I can't wait until I have all summers off to be able to enjoy trails during the week. Soon! I would have hiked to the top.

Dorothy said...

When I hike in the rain I always worry about stepping on slugs.

Kathy Haynie said...

We didn't see ANY slugs on this hike!

Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

Congrats on being one of the winner's of June's contest! You should get your gift card in the next few days!! Check in for the July 4th-July 24th contest! You might won again!! ;-)