Jul 24, 2017

Hiking the Trail of Ten Falls

Oregon is beautiful. It's so different from the deserts of New Mexico, Texas, and Utah. The most obvious difference is that western Oregon is covered with thickly forested mountains. I love trees, so this is like an outdoor paradise to me. I want to be outside as much as possible here to enjoy all the green while I can, so my husband and I went hiking on a rainy day to Silver Falls State Park to explore the Trail of Ten Falls. True to its name, we found plenty of waterfalls and were covered under a forested canopy the whole time. It was paradisaical.

The official Trail of Ten Falls sign. We got a little lost driving in, so this was our first clear marker that we were where we wanted to be.
We started from South Falls and worked our way north and back to where we parked. We took a lot of these pictures for our daughter, so there is a little plush Sasquatch hiding in some of the pictures. Just consider this your virtual tour along the Trail of Ten Falls with the Washburns.

#1: South Falls

It was rainy, so we bought plastic ponchos for our hike.

The trail went behind South Falls, which is a waterfall view I hadn't before experienced.
The trail went over the river, where we were able to see this gorgeous view.

#2: Lower South Falls

Everything was so green! Quite a change from the high plains of Texas

We got to hike behind this one too! It was like looking through a curtain of water.

#3: Middle North Falls


#4: Lower North Falls

#5: Double Falls

You can see better in this picture why this waterfall is called Double Falls. There's an upper falls feeding into the much longer lower falls.

#6: Drake Falls

#7: Twin Falls

This waterfall is split down the middle, hence the name twin falls.

#8: North Falls

North Falls is the other popular waterfall in the park, and it's clear to see why. It's a magnificent waterfall, and the trail goes behind the fall through a cave with benches. You can sit back and enjoy the sound of the power of the waterfall.

Behind the waterfall

 #9: Upper North Falls

This little waterfall was a quarter mile off the trail. We were the only ones out here when we visited. It was so peaceful in this area, and yet again so green. I'm loving all the green here in Oregon!

#10: Winter Falls

The last of the ten waterfalls, Winter Falls. This waterfall was pretty high. We had to hike down quite a decline (and then back up to get back to the loop) to reach this waterfall.

Bonus Falls and Views from the Trail:

We found this little bonus waterfall! It was a nice surprise on the trail.

The view of the river was gorgeous, and the trail follows alongside it for a while.

This is how most of the trail looked. Green with trees everywhere.

We hiked about 8.5 miles this trip in the rain, and it was well worth the effort to see all these magnificent waterfalls. My husband and I also enjoyed Oregon's light rain, in comparison to Texas' giant thunderstorm horizontal raindrops. If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend this hike. When else do you get to see ten magnificent waterfalls on the same trail?

Jun 28, 2017

Race Report: Bolder Boulder 10K

Oh my goodness! This summer has already been a whirlwind of activity. Between school ending, an internship starting, summer semester starting, working with a temporary move, and travelling to six different states in the space of 4 weeks, I am EXHAUSTED! I should be studying for my chemistry class right now, but I want to take a break from that to catch up on my blog. I realized that I haven't yet gotten around to writing about my experience at May 31st's Bolder Boulder 10K, so I'm going to use this study break wisely.

The Bolder Boulder is a well-known race. In fact, it's huge! I think it's the largest race I've ever run. There were over 50,000 people there! With all these people, the race was very well organized. Runner waves were leaving every 5 minutes or so in a fairly orderly manner. Myself and my family signed up to run in the military run/walk wave. I'm still recovering from my last relapse of Grave's Autoimmune Disease, so my endurance and strength aren't even close to where they used to be. This race turned out to be a great 10K to move slowly through and enjoy.
 Due to Alex's sign, we had a specific running order so that it wouldn't be confusing.
At the starting line ready to go!
 All throughout the race course there were slip 'n slide stations, bacon stations, dessert stations, bands, and a bunch of other activities going on. It was like one big party, and I guess it really was a party! There were so many people, and since our wave was one of the later waves to start, the throng of people was moving more slowly, but this took a lot of pressure off me to go faster than I probably should, being as sick as I have been. In fact, with the slower pace, I was able to run farther straight than I had for months--4.25 miles! I was feeling pretty proud of myself.
This run was so fun that I had to jump for joy. Apparently today, I'm feeling like puns.

I "ran" into fellow Skirt Sports Ambassador @JenLovesTrails
The part that made this race so fun, aside from all the fun happening within the course, was that my family ran the whole 10K with me and stayed with me the entire time. My amazing husband, and my in-laws Mark and Daciana. It was a blast to run this race with them, especially when Mark leapfrogged over Alex while he was just running along. I was impressed. Toward the end of the race, I even ran into a fellow Skirt Sports Ambassador. That's a nice thing about Boulder, there are a lot of fellow Skirt Sports enthusiasts around.

The race finished in the University of Colorado-Boulder stadium and they were showing live footage on the jumbo screens of everyone as they finished. What a unique experience, to see yourself on those big TVs! The Bolder Boulder had some of the best post-race snacks I've ever seen! After you finish, you get a bag full of food samples and a chocolate milk. We grabbed our goodie bags and made our way to the stadium seating so we could watch the pros race.
Crossing the finish line with my Texas Tech guns up! My race #ootd is my Skirt Sports redeptions knicks (I wanted all the pockets) and my Team RWB shirt.
We had a blast!
The Bolder Boulder is a race you must do at least once! But be prepared for the crowds and be prepared to drive around for a while looking for parking. Still, it was well organized, the race course entertainment was the best I've ever seen, and the race swag was pretty epic.