Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Silver Falls and Bend

South Falls

We left Cannon Beach on Monday July 30 and drove to my cousin Val's house.

She and her husband Rob were busy with work and camp and dance classes for her two girls, but generously offered us a place to stay in their downstairs apartment.

On Val's suggestion, we took a day trip from Val's house and drove to Silver Falls State Park, a short drive East of Salem.

Lower South Falls

Silver Falls is a rainforest and there are ten waterfalls. There is a 8.7 mile loop trail that goes by all the falls, but we arrived too late in the day to make the entire loop.

We stopped at two different trailheads and hiked, we were able to see 8 of the 10 waterfalls that way.

We drove back to Val's for the night and prepared to head out the next day.

Double Falls

We packed our bags the next morning but when it came time to load the car, I couldn't find the keys anywhere. Turns out Sean locked them in the car, which was sitting in Val's driveway.

We've got AAA, so I went to their website and followed their recommendation to submit an emergency road service request online. They emailed me a confirmation and said they'd be there in 45 minutes or less.

An hour later, I called to ask where they were. I gave them the confirmation number and after much hemming and hawing, it turns out that since I'm a member of the southern California Auto Club, they submitted my request to whoever dispatches from southern California.

North Falls

Considering we were in northern Oregon, it was probably going to take a lot longer than 45 minutes for them to arrive. They submitted the request properly and in half an hour a nice man managed to grab the keys with a hook and pull them through the window.

So much for submitting the request online. We finally got on the road around noon.

Mt. Hood

We decided to drive from Verboort to Bend via Mt. Hood.

We've never been to Eastern or Central Oregon before, just the coast and up I-5, and we decided to see some new places this time.

Mt. Hood

We stayed two nights in Bend. On Thursday we signed up for a half-day guided canoe trip on Sparks Lake.

It was a small group, our guide, Sean, Steven and I, and a married couple. Since our group was an odd number, we had to figure out how to divide ourselves between canoes.

The guide said that I could have both boys in my canoe (I vetoed that one before the words finished coming out of his mouth), or one could go with me and one with him.

At first both of them were fighting to be in my canoe, then they wanted to be together and let me go with the guide.

Sparks Lake

Of the three choices, that sounded like the best for me and the worst for the guide. Neither of them has canoed before and neither of them likes taking orders.

In sympathy for the guide I vetoed that one. Next they were arguing over who got to ride with the guide. It ended up that Steven went with the guide and I got Sean.

I've done a lot of canoeing in my much younger days, and I used to be decent at it, but with Sean at the bow it was next to impossible to keep the canoe going straight.

Sean didn't like taking any direction at all and I tired of yelling at him, it worked best when I just let him do whatever he wanted and tried my best to correct what he was doing from the rear. The guide had a much easier time with Steven.

I brought my camera, but put it away when I saw that having Sean at the bow meant an oarful of water got dumped into the canoe with every stroke.

With Sean's help, we grounded ourselves twice, we rammed the other canoes several times, we got turned around backwards, we got blown down an inlet away from the rest of the group, Sean yelling orders at me the entire time. I could go on, but I won't.

So that's the last time I'm going on one of those without Doug, or maybe I'll go with the young, good-looking guide and let the boys capsize themselves while arguing over how to paddle the canoe. It was a lake, and they were wearing life vests, I'm sure they'd survive. There were leeches in the lake, sometimes the best way to learn is through experience.

It was a beautiful lake and parts of the trip were fun.

To be continued...

- Kathleen


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