We met up with the Hoangs on Sunday afternoon at the Sahalie and Koosah Falls trailhead along the McKenzie River. The trail was a nice 3 mile loop on either side of the extremely impressive, somewhat frightening, McKenzie. The river rushes along and cascades over rocks with tremendous speed and force - the waterfalls are beautiful and the water a crystalline turquoise color. It would have been an excellent start to our adventure, except for the fact that both children got stung by the same damn yellowjacket within seconds of each other. They both cried and screamed and yelled and sobbed and tried to run away and hug me simultaneously. It was pretty awful. Hilariously awful, in fact. But we recovered, and it was still beautiful.
Check out the amazing wooden face of this old stump!
We arrived at our campground around 4, just in time to set up the tents and get settled in. I had some trouble remembering how to set up our giant REI tent, and it didn't help that the instructions printed on the tent back were WRONG. Cuong came over to help, and the two of us fumbled around and made mistakes and laughed a lot as we tried one thing after another. I had a moment of fear that between the hornet sting and the tent failure, we were heading for another camping disaster story, but then we figured it out and got it up and stable. (I remarked afterwards that it was a good thing we weren't married: clearly fertile grounds for a fantastic spousal argument. :) )
Monday morning came early (5:41 am!) and COLD. Apparently the high desert of the mountains are COLD. We put on every last article of clothing - I think Seb was wearing 6 layers on top - and huddled up close to the Hoang's fire. Thank goodness they too were early risers and could keep us company. Still, the first morning was a little rough. :)
Mt. Jefferson in the background in these two pictures.
Metolius River trail (which stretches 10 miles along the river on both sides). We didn't go far but we found a couple of huge old trees stretching nearly across the river, and had a lot of fun venturing out onto the expanse into the center of the water.