We trekked to Golden and Silver Falls State Park this weekend, which has become my favorite place to be, even if you have to drive a long way to get there. That just means nobody else is there with you, and it's so quiet and peaceful.
We crank up the music, grip the wheel tight and fear cars driving the opposite direction on the single-lane, unpaved, winding road. But the payoff is TOTALLY worth the hour drive out there, especially in the spring when the water is still plentiful and the trees have recovered from winter. That means it's dark and damp and green, which feels so mysterious and beautiful.
Welcome to Golden Falls.
Ferns litter the forest floor, and so many of them were just starting to grow, making some leaves curly and cute!
Silver Falls is quite different and unconventional, and there's a large amount of spray from it. Sorry, camera lens, I'll clean you later. I needed the icy-water cool down.
We saw so many snails along the way -- John crunched one -- but they should stay off the trails! These guys were really big and colorful.
Giant slug/turd/goo. Gross. He's MUCH longer and MUCH bigger at another angle, but I really didn't want to get closer. I fear squishing one of these guys out here (there are a ton of them, along with the snails) just because of the way they would feel under my boot. Ick.
Looking over the top of Golden Falls. It's really not as difficult as it seems -- it's a slowly increasing grade on a simple trail. The breeze up here is rewarding either way.
We were visited by a beautiful hawk. He was lower and easier spotted soaring among the top of the pines, but he was eluding the camera. This is the best I got, and it certainly doesn't do the creature much justice -- there's just something about a hawk flitting among the tree tops in Oregon. Everything just seems so big and majestic, and it seems as though he's in charge of it all.
Any ID for these white flowers? They had this curly, green arm-like piece, as seen in the photo, and they were growing all over the ground at the top of the falls.
Moss, moss, moss. This place is all about moss.