I was really looking forward to Thursday. I had reached out to my buddy, Micaela, to see if she'd be available to go on an adventure with me. I was wanting to try a hike, but needed someone who would be understanding if things went awry, knowing Whitley had yet to be tested in her capacity or willingness to hike.
I picked Proxy Falls. It is breathtaking in terms of fall foliage - only about an hour away, and an easy enough hike to do with it being a loop. It was made better by the fact that Micaela had never been to this place - and I always love introducing fellow nature lovers to new places to explore in Oregon.
The clouds didn't clear until about part way through the hike, but the color was still spectacular.
There's two stop offs for Proxy - a side trail that takes you here, at the base of these falls with a bit of a water hole beneath it.
It was a last minute decision to take Sydney. I had to confirm what I already suspected that Micaela was indeed a "dog person". Yup. So, Syd got to go and was a great passenger in the back of the van. We brought two tennis balls for her to "retrieve" in the water - she was very interested in swimming, but not retrieving. One of the balls was left for some other lucky dog to swim to in the middle of the water hole.
She might love the rolling even better than the swimming! Note that her hair still hasn't grown back on this side from the surgery she had a month ago.
For sure, all things considered, a very good decision to take her. She hung out in the "trunk" portion of my van on the way home and had needed a bath anyway. This picture says it all - HAPPY DOG.
Whitley SOOOOOO wanted to go swimming too. "Please Stephie, can I be a 'Nakey Baby' and go swimming?!" Well, IF I had brought a swimsuit for me, and IF the water temp was about 30 degrees warmer, and IF it wasn't so muddy - maybe I'd have said yes. However, given our circumstances, the best we could do for her was to let her dip her feet in and feel just how ice cold the water was to try to convince her the rest of her body in the water would not be a pleasant experience. It worked, but for the rest of the hike she wanted to know where we could find the "warm waterfall". =)
I love this girl.
This is the second viewpoint to walk to on the trail.
Can you tell that Whitley is not a big fan of posing for pictures or taking selfies?
And, then, the way back. Even more fall foliage to behold.
The collage I put together for Instagram - and on one of the posts, here's what I wrote.
Things that became obvious (or that I was reminded of) today:
1) The Cascades are stunning in the fall.
2) Even short visits to the mountains restores my soul.
3) Whitley is capable of (and good at, and enjoys) hiking.
4) Sydney is not too old or sick to go for a hike or chase a ball into a cold waterfall stream (Whitley wanted to swim too!)
5) I need to spend more time with Micaela Rahimian =)
And, this is a screenshot of the Snapchat she sent my kids and put on her wall.
So very good for both of us. Just what we needed!