Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Washington, Oregon - Day 3: Silver Falls State Park

When we got up this morning it was dark, overcast and raining, not a good start.  Our plan today was to visit Oregon's Silver Falls State Park and then head up to Portland where we would me with Val's niece Hillary, her husband Jason and their three kids, Avery, Anderson and Ella.

Because of the weather, we got a bit of a late start as we headed off to Silver Falls.  It was a beautiful drive through the countryside enhanced by the fall color.  Along the way we saw several vineyards and many Christmas tree farms.  By the time we reached the park, the rain had stopped but the cloud cover remained.  That was actually a good thing as bright sunlight is not the best weather for photographing waterfalls.  Silver Falls State Park consists of a series of ten waterfalls some of which are accessible by short trails and other by longer hikes.  The area is like a rain forest with dense foliage and lots of water everywhere.  Also enhancing the beauty of the area was the wide variety of fall colors in many of the trees and bushes.

Our first stop was North Falls overlook, a 136 foot waterfall.  

North Falls from the overlook.
Some fall color at the overlook
More fall color.
Next we drove on to the North Falls trailhead and hiked down to the falls.

North Falls
 The North Falls trail actually goes around behind the falls offering an unusual view.
North Falls from behind.

After returning to the trailhead we took the short walk to the Upper North Falls.

Upper North Falls.
 The next falls we visited was South Falls.

South Falls had a paved trail.
South Falls.

By the time we finished at South Falls it was mid afternoon so we decided it was time to head for Portland.  The first part of our drive was through more beautiful country side and picturesque country towns and then it was back on I-5 and into Portland.  After checking into our hotel and getting cleaned up it was time to head over to Jason and Hillary's home where we were going to meet before going to dinner.  They have a beautiful home in the western part of Portland near Beaverton.  After visiting a bit, it was off to dinner at the Rock Creek Tavern.  It was out in the country, had great food and as a bonus, some great live music.  It's in a very rustic old building that had been restored and included some very interesting art along with very old timber and barn-like architecture.  I highly recommend it.  We had a wonderful time with Hillary, Jason, Avery, Anderson and Ella, they're a great family.  Once again, at the end of the evening, it was hard to say good-bye.

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