Friday, July 13, 2012

Eagle Creek - 4th of July

What better way to celebrate America than hiking one of the most beautiful trails that I've ever been on.  The Eagle Creek trail through Tunnel Falls and up to Twister Falls.

This is how I spent my fourth of July.

I got lost...  Well actually I was just on the wrong trail.  The Tanner Creek trail is just one valley over from Eagle Creek and is a 3 mile loop to Wahclella Falls.  I'd done the same thing a few years ago taking my brothers to Tunnel Falls.  Only after backtracking a little to figure out where I'd missed the trail did the déjà vu kick in.  On the way back I also realized that I didn't have any money for a forest pass.  The only free parking around was were I parked.  I saw a trail marked 3 miles to Eagle Creek Recreation Area, so I went for it.

This little guy reminded me of Joshua, when we are on hikes he'll save little critters from the trail so they don't get stepped on.  He would have moved this little guy to safety.  Though there was no one on this stretch of trail  anyway.  Probably because it went straight up and over the mountain to the next valley.  I took another wrong turn taking the high road that gave me a nice dead end aerial view of the trail head 900 feet below.  That one cost me 2 miles and 1800 ft. of elevation change.

So after an 8 mile false start I was finally on the trail.  It's 7.5 from there to Twister Falls.

I took my first brake at Punchbowl Falls.  Took off my boots and waded in the water.  Stacked some rocks and took a little nap.  I must have looked worn out and skinny because someone offered me a sandwich.  I accepted.  Actually I overheard a family asking if anyone had a knife so they could cut a tomato.  No one did so I went over and dug through my backpack and found mine and offered it to them, the sandwich and some fruit was their thank you. 

Arwen will be proud to know that I found plenty of food in the wild too.  One of my favorite shows to watch with her is Man vs Wild.  We have fun planning outings (in the back yard) where we'll try some of the stuff he does on the show.  Well other than the snail and the sandwich the only edible things I actually came across were berries.  I found and ate Huckleberries, Salmon-berries, Thimble-berries, and the most delicious...wild Strawberries.
These little guys had all the flavor of a large hood strawberry concentrated into a little bitty berry.

I spent a lot of time on the narrow cliff hugging trails hunting for these instead of watching my step.

Here's the view from High Bridge ~13 miles into my hike.

A few miles latter I was at Tunnel falls.

The Hobbit in me loves this tunnel.

I lugged my tripod up all this way and figured I might as well use it.

If you squint at this picture the bright area makes a cool spiral.

Here I am just above Twister Falls taking my next break.  By this time I smelled like I'd taken a shower in stale sweat and dried off with a wet dog.  Doing the math I'd be getting back to the car around 9:00 so I didn't hang out here to long.

10.5 miles latter I was back at the car with enough daylight to see that I was the lucky one not to get my windows broken.  There was glass a few spots over from me.  I don't have anything worth steeling anyway, I should just leave the car unlocked.  That 's the problem with free parking.

Though it felt like 10,000 feet of elevation change I don't think you can trust it.  With much of the trail carved into the side of cliffs a few meters to either side changes elevation by hundreds of feet and a GPS is just not accurate enough to keep me on a narrow little trail.

Adventure Time With Dad And The Kids

You know how Father and Son's camp-outs are just an excuse for Mother Daughter Night.  Well Girls Camp is just an excuse for Dad's Adventure Time.
Poor Arwen was sick all week with a fever so we took it a little easier than we normally would have, staying close to home.

Look how long that little girl's hair is getting.  We had lots of fun in the backyard playing on the trampoline and having Lulu's backyard friend over to play.

Rose Garden - Joshua and Noah love to hind behind things for pictures.  If it's not some treasure they are holding to show the camera is something else.

Little Brave Noah showing off his sponge-bobs.

Japanese Garden - Arwen was freezing on a hot day with her fever.  Noah went to join her in the sun.

We took the shuttle up to the Japanese Garden for fun and walked back down.

We then went to the park, and amazingly Larkin, who didn't have enough energy to take another step, was all over the place.  I spread out the picnic blanket and Arwen cured up in it and napped.  Her medicine had worn off, poor little girl.

Noah and I built a Soda Bottle Rocket Launcher with a little help from the other kids.  We gave it a test run in the back yard and soon realized that we needed a lot more space.  We pumped it up to 40psi and the kids pulled the trigger.  BAM!  That bottle flew so high it startled us.  Only through luck did it float back down into our yard.  We then headed off for the field behind the Church.  We hit 100psi for Joshua who just wanted to go to 120psi after that.

 The kids had a blast getting sprayed by the water when they pulled the trigger.

Try as I might I could not capture the bottle mid flight.  Here you see the last puff of water from the 2L bottle.  The bottle is way way above the shot.  One of these days I'll get lucky with the timing and catch the bottle.