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A 'Moderate' Hike

Monday, August 24, 2009

We’ve gotten into hiking more and plan to make it part of our regular routine. Kristy wants to see all of the waterfalls in Oregon, or at least the ones other than roadside. The guidebook we are using lists over 200 waterfalls in Oregon and Washington, so I think it will take a good while to see them all.

So far we have hiked the ‘easy’ and ‘moderate’ difficulty rated trails. We had planned to hike one that was rated as ‘difficult’ but our budget interfered with that trip. That turned out to be a good thing. After the last two ‘moderate’ trails, we decided that is plenty enough challenge for our current level of fitness. We’ll hold off on the ‘difficult’ rated trails until we earn ‘beastly’ ratings for our fitness levels.

The thing about hiking the waterfall trails is that they don’t usually start at the top. Yesterday’s outing was no exception. Part of the trail rating guideline for a 'moderate' trail, is that it may incline up to 30%, be no more than 24” wide and the path is considered rough. We hiked in the Umpqua National Forest yesterday, on what we believed would be a fairly quick and not too challenging trail, even though it was rated ‘moderate’. Obviously, we are still new to this sport. I would call it an ‘activity’, but if my HRM says I’m burning 900 calories per hour, I think that qualifies as a ‘sport’.

We were at Trestle Creek Falls, which, according to the book, is a 2.75-mile hike-round trip. According to the trailhead markers one on the way in and another on the way out, it was actually about 6 miles total. After this confusion, I told Kristy that my next goodie needs to be a quality pedometer…and since my birthday is coming up…she agreed, but thinks she needs one for my birthday, too.

The pictures will never tell the whole story, but I’m just sayin’ it was a serious incline that lived fully up to the rating system. Today is a scheduled strength day and one of the body parts I had planned for my workout today was my calves. But after yesterday’s hike, I think they need a day or two to recuperate. What a workout!

Our youngest son set the pace and I have to say I was thrilled to see him in action. One of his own struggles has been his incredible love of basketball, but he has never had the stamina to make the team once he got to high school. (He had 3 heart surgeries before he was 6 months old.) Anyway, he did AWESOME! Seriously, I had to remind him to slow down a couple times (even on the ascent).

The trail rarely had any flats and a good amount of it was obvious inclines. My calves were worked pretty hard, a good stretch on the way up. The knees and quads got their workout on the way down. The peak of the trail actually went behind the upper falls, which was really cool. Eventually we will have to get a better camera, too, because the glare is just too much at times and some of my favorite pic’s just don’t come out.

Looking out from behind the falls.

The trip back down the trail went much quicker than the first half. In fact, at some points it was safer to jog it than to try to walk it. Markus (the youngest) and Kristy were quite a ways ahead of the rest of us. We caught up, though, when they had to take a break because Markus biffed it in some loose gravel. At that point we were less than a mile from the exit.

We took our time as the trail flattened out quite a bit from there. We wandered down to play near the lower falls and came across a family that was panning for gold. Well, actually, I happened on a chainsaw they had covered in the brush and the boys turned to hightail it out of there when Kristy told them. (Think of teenage boys who watch too many creepy movies and then scare the sh!t out of themselves.) It was on the way out that I realized they were panning.

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  • no profile photo CD4454521
    gorgeous photos. We are soooo lucky to live in this state. Having grown up in Central Oregon and having family in the Willamette Valley we tend to take this for granted sometimes. Now that I have no family I visit in Bend anymore, I really miss the summer drives over santiam, and getting out of the car and looking all around.

    Another hike for you to try that was quite challenging, even though completely dark, is the Ape Caves by Mt. St. Helens. We did this one about 2 months ago. It's quite the workout. You hike for about 1.25 miles inside a lava tube, up and over lava boulders, with a little bit of lava flats thrown in. Also I'm sure you've done it but if not, Multnomah falls is quite the calf workout!

    Thanks for the blog. Love the stories and the pics.
    4267 days ago
    Great photos!! We love hiking too - and there are so many beautiful spots around here for us to visit! The chainsaw - YIKES. I would have run for it with the boys, that's just too crazy - gold panning with a chainsaw? I don't think so..
    4268 days ago
    emoticon I'm so behind on keeping track o'my SP buddies' blogs and I'm sorry I missed this! GOL you're fortunate to have this in your life. Wait. You're more fortunate to have your life ... it sure has a different meaning when you're HEALTHY!

    This was a wonderful trip for me, too. Thank you.
    4272 days ago
  • SUZY6281
    That trail was considered moderate? Wow. And you idea of visiting all the waterfalls in Oregon is wonderful!! I'm now wondering how many are in GA. On the trips to falls that are pretty far from your house- do you stay overnight somewhere?

    Thanks for the photos. They were awesome.

    4273 days ago
    Do you remember the days when a day off, weekend, or vacation called for sitting on your keister all day and doing nothing? Isn't it wonderful how all this energy and fitness spurs you on to more and greater and better things? And don't you love that your boys (and their GFs it looked like?) are now seeing this as normal weekend and holiday behavior?!

    What an awesome gift you have given yourself, Kristy, and the boys! And the side benefits (outdoor Oregon in all it's splendor) is well worth the effort on its own!

    Yeah, you need a pedometer OR a Garmin HRM - one that comes with GPS so you can track the exact distance and calories and HR. Just a suggestion....
    4274 days ago
  • GHW1968
    This looks like an amazing hike! 6 miles! Wow! What a great exercise and a wonderful bonding experience. I absolutely love the photos. They make me feel as if I am there with you! If I'm ever on the West Coast, I will have to find a hike like this!
    4274 days ago
    Wow! Oregon is so pretty! What a great hike!
    4275 days ago
    OMG... I am sooo jealous! That is absolutely beautiful AND VERY MUCH THE INCLINE! HOLY MOLY! I bet that was a workout! Love the pics!
    I wish Houston looked like that!!!!!!! daaang!

    Keep truckin!

    4276 days ago
    As one who does lots of hiking, Hiking is a cardio workout - I have seen lots of waterfalls in my hiking days - don't know which I like better - waterfalls or tops of mountains. Have fun and enjoy yourself.

    4276 days ago
    thanks for the narrative and pics. i was indoors all day yesterday (including my workout) and reading this post was not quite like being there, but it was refreshing nevertheless. reminded me to get in more hiking before the days get short and after work hikes are not an option. i too am lucky to live in an amazingly beautiful area.
    4276 days ago
    damn, tam, you've done yourself proud with these pix and this blog. there you go again, doing your thing, out there enjoying, staying optimistic, and seeing some good, even in the bad. you have a winning attitude and are so going to do well in your new career path! rock on and do it up, ms. t, like only you can!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    4276 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4228914
    Tam, as I've said before, with your pictures and descriptions, I feel as if I'm walking along with you guys on your travels. Simply beautiful!
    4276 days ago
    Tam, you take some great pics. I love waterfalls. maybe I should check out to see what is around me. Sounds like a great Sport to share with family:) Keep on with the hikes, I'm enjoying the blogs and pics from them.

    4276 days ago
  • SUNNY332
    What a great Hike! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Looks like you all had a great day.

    Hugs, Sunny
    4276 days ago
  • LLTS01
    Wow, those look like some steep inclines. I remember going hiking every weekend with my family- a mandatory activity - and hating it because I liked sleeping in. emoticon

    You both definitely deserve the pedometers. Mine is a permanent attachment. I can't live without it. It's been much nicer to me than my scale.

    4276 days ago
    Heya Tam,

    Beautiful pics there! :) I can tell from a couple of them, you had quite the grade to navigate, and Markus has the scrapes to prove it! emoticon I'm never quite sure that the people who actually 'grade' the hikes know what they are talking about. Their idea of moderate and mine are definitely not the same.

    My warped sense of humor would have played it up with the chainsaw, and had the boys halfway home before you caught up with them, lol. (I come from a long line of pranksters, smart @sses, and troublemakers, so you had to develop one of your own for self defense!) I wonder if they had the claim on that part of the river, or if they were claimjumping? I know up here on Yellowbottom (Quartzville), there are places that anyone can pan, but some of it has active claims.

    Sounds though, like a wonderful weekend, and the two of you are looking great!

    4276 days ago
  • SING4YOU57
    I love the waterfall hikes of Oregon & Washington. They are just so beautiful.
    4276 days ago
    I just love your blogs, especially the real reality parts. Ex. boys & hearing of a chainsaw in the woods, lol! These are the sorts of things that keeps your family so strong. You are a role model in so many ways!
    4276 days ago
    I've been doing hills- they really work me out.
    Your pictures and blog are wonderful. My favorite sport- just getting out there!
    4276 days ago
    We've hiked some in Arkansas on a mild trail and came out feeling like we had done quite a workout. The pics are great and I love how you describe the hikes. Makes it seem like I'm there with ya. I think it's a wonderful goal to see all the waterfalls and what a wonderful way to do some behind the scenes sightseeing and exercising.
    4276 days ago
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