Two weeks of FitBit

and I have apparently walked 50 miles!

badge_lifetime_miles50

 

I probably would not have walked that far without the Fitbit pressuring me to do so.  So far, I think it’s been a worthwhile purchase.

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Blessed Samhain

I have been busy, busy, busy.  Trying to finish up the details of the World Painters Challenge and ship the quilts, stow away the detritus of retreat, keep up with the leaves falling in the yard, and quilt customer quilts.

Tonight we celebrate the turning of the year and pay homage to our ancestors, as the veil between the worlds is said to be thinnest.  Look and listen for those spirits in the lights of the evening.

Photo by Avia Venefica at everystockphoto.com

Photo by Avia Venefica at everystockphoto.com

In other words, Happy Halloween!

Silver Falls

As you know, I’ve been away at Silver Falls State Park.  I discovered this magical place about 25 years ago.  I went a couple of times with the love of my life, who eventually decided he loved alcohol more than me.  I prefer the water and the trees.

On Thursday, I convinced a few of the women to go with me on a hike of some of the falls.  I really wanted to do the whole trail but, since most of my fellow quilters have trouble making it from the sewing room to the dining hall, I settled for a shorter hike.  Jenny and Lori went with me and they were very good sports.  We decided to go to the South Falls and, once we got to the parking lot, headed for the lodge and the visitors’ center.

Big trees

 

The gorge in which Silver Creek runs is situated in a rainforest.  You can see that much rain makes for very big trees.  The trees in this photo are less than 100 years old, as much of this area was logged off in the 1930s.  There was also a huge forest fire back in those days that wiped a lot of the forest out.  The forest down in the gorge is natural — no logging, no fires, and some of the trees down there are hundreds of years old.  They are incredible.

Anyway, as we were passing the lodge, three people were coming off the deck with hiking poles and invited us to join their 2.5 mile hike.  Not very long, but nearly straight down into the gorge and then, of course, straight back up.  Our group leader was Earl. Earl leads hikes on Thursday afternoons.  Earl is 80 years young.  When I began to think I might need to be airlifted out of the gorge, I kept reminding myself that EARL’S EIGHTY FREAKIN’ YEARS OLD!!!  Look at that man whip up that trail.  If he can do it, you can too!  I made it.  It didn’t kill me.  And, in fact, I enjoyed it.  Here’s Earl (wish I had gotten a better photo of him) leading us towards the lower south falls.

Earl in the lead

 

Lower South Falls

lower falls

 

Preparing to walk behind lower South Falls.  Yep – there are three separate lava flows that make up the gorge.  The bottom layer has hardened into a serious basalt, the middle layer was much softer and more porous, the top layer a hard basalt also.  Where the soft middle layer has worn away, it makes it possible to go behind two of the waterfalls.

ready to go under

 

Behind the cascade

Inside looking outAnd out the other side

Lower South

 

Once out from behind this waterfall, Earl told us we were going to climb and, if we cared to count, we’d find it was only 178 steps.  Believe me, I did not want to count!

Once up the steps, we had a nice fairly flat trail along the creek until we got to the bottom of South Falls.  This is natural Oregon rainforest.Creek

We then approached South Falls, perhaps the most frequently photographed of all the ten falls, as it’s the easiest one to get to — from the top anyway — we came from the bottom.  There’s a small bridge over the creek at the bottom from which I got this shot.

South Falls

 

This is the second fall that you can walk behind, so we climbed again (no stairs, just slope) to walk the trail behind the falls.  Here’s a shot from the side.

South Side

 

And then from behind/under the falls

Behind South Falls

 

And then, my very favorite shot – the South Falls through some of our lovely mossy trees.  You may notice in the shot above that it was an extraordinarily gorgeous day.  We had such beautiful weather for this whole trip.  It only rained the day we left — the sky cried because I had to go home.

South Falls w trees

 

Home again, home again

I’ve returned to city life.  I’d much rather still be in the woods, among those giant trees, hearing the sound of the water rushing over the falls.  Over the next few days, as I find time to process some of the photos from the trip, I’ll share a bit of the beauty of that place with you.  I had an amazing time.  I needed the peace of nature, as I didn’t have a very good time trying to paint my art quilt.  It did come out okay, but as always, I wanted spectacular. That was impossible, as the fabric I used for the quilt was too coarse for allowing the paints to shade and glaze.  It went on in a sandy texture and I had to rub for all I was worth to get anything to blend together.  It is, however, finished, except that I found the bling box this evening and I will put a few jewels in her hair.  I’m not into massive bling on a quilt, but Mucha’s original work showed some baubles in her hair.  Here is my little art quilt all painted.

Muchas Dance copy