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.