Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Farewell, Oregon

It's our last day in Oregon before we have to get up at a truly ungodly hour and fly home to Boston. The past two days were spent in Silverton at a nice resort (don't let the label fool you—there were no facials or massages being had by yours truly) which the manfriend and I used as base camp to take a couple of very nice, scenic, waterfall-riddled long hikes. The best part of the resort (no offense to the Frank Lloyd Wright house on the edge of the property) was the quails. Quails quails quails!!! I thought I'd struck it rich when we spotted those three back in California, but the resort had oodles, oodles I tell you! We were walking around the resort's vast gardens and along a brush-lined area, and KA-POW! Like thirty quails, parents and bumbly little quailets all scattering this way and that. Ah, bliss. Keep your spa treatments, everybody. I gots my quails.

The first hike we did was Opal Creek, where we enjoyed a seven-mile trek through the certified wilderness, and what used to be old mining land. There was ancient rusting equipment strewn here and there, giant mysterious gear-laden monstrosities. The terrain was largely smooth and semi-gravel-paved, with the exception of a loop that offered some more strenuous climbs. A nice mix. I love the streams here—they're freakishly clear and the coolest color, a subdued greenish blue, from algae, maybe? We did the hike without snacks and not quite enough water, plus the manfriend had puked his guts out that morning from what we suspect was food poisoning. He's such a trouper. So by about mile five we were both dragging, but we made it. And I got yet more valuable experience peeing in the woods—a skill I hadn't really cultivated before taking up with an Oregonian.

Hike number two was Silver Creek Falls. That trek was a little over four miles, nicely paved, and pretty quiet, although when peeing in the woods I had to make the manfriend stand guard. We must have seen about six waterfalls. None were gushing magnificently this time of the year, but they were still very impressive. And one of them cascades from a shelf that juts way out from the rest of the hill, and the trails goes right behind it. Very cool.

That's about it. Today we do laundry, have one last family dinner, and generally take it easy before jetting back home at about four a.m. Well, I take it easy, while the manfriend troubleshoots a gazillion technical issues for his mom. It's been a fabulous trip—just the right mix of outings and down time. I require a lot of down time. I even got a decent amount of writing and brainstorming done. Hopefully I'll have Thrusty Thursday ready to go tomorrow to keep you company while I'm shooting through the air due east. See you around.

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