Silver Falls State Park

Lately my friends had been posting on Facebook about going to Silver Falls State Park. I knew it wasn’t too far away, but we’d never made it there. Since it is a place surrounded by water, I figured with the near 100 degree temps it was safe to go to a place like that in Oregon; in the colder temps, probably not so much. We gathered our picnic goods and headed out for a fun 4th of July. It was a bit longer of a trek than anticipated from Portland suburbs, but Oregon is a pretty place so driving isn’t drudgery. After finally arriving from a road with pretty much just ourselves, the park entrance had a fairly long line of cars. We paid our $5 and we were lucky to find ample parking spots. We ate our deli sandwiches out of our cooler since they would need to be kept cold and then packed up other edible food items which weren’t so temperature sensitive, but would be highly desirable once we got going. (peanut butter sandwiches, granola bars, H20) The first observation was that they had a gorgeous lodge. I am a super big fan of old time historic Western lodges and this one was really nice. Inside the lodge, there was a restaurant which we didn’t check out and another similarly awesome lodge a bit further on that was a gift shop. Of course I had to fend off my daughter asking if we could buy something…… “No, but maybe we’ll go inside AFTER we hike!” At the closest waterfall, there were a lot of people, but it was pretty clear it wasn’t going to remain that way. We had a map and planned on going as far as we could, but needing an escape path if possible since the whole loop was a bit more than we wanted to put the kids through. I was grateful that we were pretty much in the shade for 1st half of the hike, but I expected it would be sunny and brutal at some point. Being in Oregon, there is always glorious shade even in the worst of heat. At one point while posing for a photo, I lost my glasses over a ledge. However, I wasn’t going to let go of my OLD sunglasses without a fight though so I went after them in a not super dangerous, but slightly reminiscent of Naked and Afraid fashion. I was NOT naked, but I had to get a bit more friendly with some questionable (poison ivy?) shrubbery than I would have cared to do. I got them back, but not before alarming a few people about my well being as I was below the path in some bushes. If you ever need to grab a bush/limb while hiking, grab the thickest most alive looking branch you can find; all others WILL fail you.  After my return to the pathway, we continued on our way seeing more incredible waterfalls and even doing some swimming. We lucked out and we were really always in shady areas so it was quite pleasant. When we finally thought we were done and did a little jig, it turned out we still had another 1.2 miles to go to get to the entrance near where our car was located. We were all exhausted at the end, but we were all happy we were able to go to this amazing place and have a fun hike. http://www.oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=parkPage.dsp_parkPage&parkId=151

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