Thursday, May 18, 2017

hike to Trestle Creek Falls

We woke up and had the hotel's breakfast - cinnamon buns! pancakes! cereal! - the girls were in heaven - and then headed back into the Umpqua national forest for a 4 mile hike to upper Trestle Creek Falls. The forest was lush and green and the river was roaring with all the spring rains. It was gorgeous - the perfect hiking day. Neither girl complained even once about going on the hike, about being tired or bored, or about anything at all, which was outstanding and unusual and made for the perfect Mother's Day present.
Of course, since this was the weekend of fiascos, when we arrived at the trailhead we found a line of pink tape and this sign.
We were undaunted. We couldn't imagine giving up without a hike. We assumed we'd hear any logging operations and see foresters before approaching a work area, and so we dodged around the sign and proceeded. (Setting a terrible example for our girls, who can both now read perfectly well!)
This is upper Trestle Creek Falls -- the trail goes around and behind the falls, which was super exciting for the girls. Liesl ran up the trail to reach it and was delightfully impressed.
I should note that half a mile before reaching these falls, we started to hear the noises of a helicopter, really close by. We saw it a few moments later, hovering over the hillside across from us, with a long rope and hook dangling down into the forest. Clearly the timber falling operations of the danger sign. The helicopter lowered down and picked up a tree on the hook, and then flew off. But it either didn't go far, or there were a lot of helicopters, because the noise was pretty constant. It's hard to fully immerse yourself in a verdant forest experience when that noise is ever-present, triggering thoughts of every war movie and dystopian fiction account (Hunger Games) you've ever seen. The noise was masked briefly by the falls, and we wondered if we should turn back or continue on our loop hike. Foolhardiness won out again and we kept going - the noise eventually disappeared, we think because the helicopters and their tree-removal operation moved to the other side of the neighboring hillside, and were were able to finish our hike without incident.
Lower Trestle Creek Falls.
We piled back into the car and drove home to Portland - the girls both slept half the way - ending a happy and eventful weekend adventure.

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