Saturday, June 30, 2012

Trail of Ten Falls

We started our hike from the North Falls
Today the kids (including Sarah) and I drove to Silver Falls State Park to hike the Trail of Ten Falls.  My goal was to hike the entire seven mile loop and see all ten waterfalls.  The kids would have been content to turn back in the first mile.  There are several spots to shorten the loop so we just hopped on the Canyon Trail that meanders along the canyon floor and winged it.  We hiked, talked, played, moped, sang, pouted, snacked, took breaks, whined, chatted, and told stories.  The kids rolled their eyes when I wanted to take a picture of every waterfall, but truth be told, we used each waterfall as a marker for a new distance covered.

Silhouette of our group behind the waterfall
The miles slipped by and before we knew it we had traversed from the North Falls (where we started) to the South Falls on the far end of the park.  But we were tired, it was getting late, and according to my calculations, we still had 2.6 miles to go if we exited via the less scenic, but more direct Rim Trial.

Sarah and I demonstrating to the kids what NOT to do

We all made this face at one point or another on the hike

Me and my four blessings

Sarah, Grant, Katie and Alli showing us how cool it is to walk behind a waterfall
Fortunately for all of us, Sarah is an elementary school teacher and a captivating story teller.  She entertained us for the remaining three miles by telling us the story of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. We gasped, oohed, sucked in our breath, and laughed as Sarah told the story from start to finish, complete with British accents.   I was as spellbound as the kids, listening intently to find out what came next.  We were so into the story, that we hiked right past Winter Falls without getting a picture.

resting in the cave behind the waterfall
It's obvious from our group beginning and end picture that the hike tired us all out, but we made it the entire seven miles.  Paige (age 6 years) summarized how she felt when she collapsed into her car seat and declared, "I'm dirty, tired, and everything hurts."  But she said it with a huge smile and we celebrated with Dairy Queen on the way home.

our group at the end of the hike

This hike was worth the time and effort.  We hiked behind three of the ten waterfalls and explored the caves behind the falls.  The trail is wide and well groomed.  The terrain is mostly flat with a few steep hills.  In the past, on hot days, we've cooled off in Silver Falls and stopped to catch crayfish.  I hope you and your family take time to enjoy this beautiful park.  Happy hiking.

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