As I mentioned in the last post, our goal for Thursday was to go for a hike. I looked through some websites for various local hikes, but I think the big desire was to feel like we had escaped the landscape of Eugene and had reached a place feeling remote and in the mountains. We agreed to start out at Salt Creek Falls (between Oakridge and Willamette Pass) and venture forth on the wilderness trails from there. We chose Vivian Lake, which if you do the math, and considering it took us a 1/4 mile to get to this sign, was a 5 mile hike. Roundtrip - that'd be 10 miles. We had read that it would be predominately uphill on the way there, climbing 1500 feet in elevation - a "moderate" hike. We wondered what "strenuous" is as there was some serious inclines. Made even more obvious when we headed back down. Obviously, we were very pleased that the incline was on the way there.....Along the way, we found ourselves at Fall Creek Falls - this picture doesn't do it justice - so pretty.
As we kept climbing, it was no surprise that we hit snow. This is actually at the lake. We kind of lost the trail once or twice because of the snow - it's a good thing we didn't have to go any higher.
I had to set the timer on the pictures taken of the two of us, and this rock was downhill and through the snow from the camera, so the 10 seconds to get to the rock were not enough! As a result, the picture shows me barely getting there..... At the lake, we had lunch and read our books - in total tranquility (we didn't encounter ANYONE on our hike). We laughed that it took 5 miles of hiking to find a place to read our books in peace.
For many reasons, the way back was much more fun. We had talked about devoting some time to prayer, and Michele and I got carried away - lifting up praises, things we were thankful for, even things we knew we'd been messing up and asking forgiveness for. It's hard to put the experience into words, and I don't feel like I need to, suffice to say, it was one of the most rewarding times Michele and I have had in a very long time.
This is a picture of Diamond Creek Falls that we took on the way back:
Finally, this shows Michele pointing to the Salt Creek Falls Look-Out on the other side of the canyon - where we had started out to begin with. We were about half way back at this point - it felt pretty impressive. However, we both felt very humbled considering our total of ten miles is merely a tenth of the total distance of what my two brother-in-laws (Jeff and Tom) do on a regular basis in their ultra-marathons - and they do it at a run. Unbelievable.... ("we're not worthy, we're not worthy!")