Hike 60 – Maple-Wildwood Loop Hike

FullSizeRender (4)I know it’s super weird to only have a picture of my legs, but we just didn’t take any pictures until the end of this hike for some reason. It was a really pretty day and we enjoyed the hike immensely. We enjoyed it so much that we were immersed in the hike and not in documenting it.

My sister and I set a goal a long time ago to hike all of the trails in Forest Park. We still haven’t come anywhere close to reaching that goal. The Maple-Wildwood loop is 8.4 miles with only 1080 feet in elevation change. It has a lot of beautiful things to see and we only retraced our steps from another hike we had done (Leif Erikson) for about 50 feet.

The hike starts at the Lower Salzman trailhead. There were a lot of cars parked there, but we were able to parallel cram our trusty steed and hit the trail. The loop has a combination of different junctions and trail switching, so that you end up seeing a great deal of the park. It hits Salzman, Leif Erickson, Wildwood, Maple, and others. It’s a nice loop that is not too difficult to follow.

There were many features (bridges) in various locations, a ton of plant-life, a cool snake, some birds, one or two crazy mountain bikers, and gallons and gallons of fresh air. We did go the wrong direction once, not because there was a missing sign or anything, but because I am terrible at reading directions sometimes. We figured it out and got back on track.

We hiked fast because we were hungry and we wanted to go get lunch. You gotta have priorities.

For information about the Maple-Wildwood Loop Hike click here.

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Hike 59 – Wahclella Falls

Like I mentioned in the previous post, I did not hike for four months. Beyond being slightly traumatized, I re-injured my back and my knee. I tore my meniscus in 2003 and I herniated a disc in my back in 2013. I had surgery on ┬áboth at the time. Both injuries had returned. I went to the gym and worked with a trainer. I went to physical therapy every other week. I started getting acupuncture regularly. At present, I still have a herniated disc. I still have a torn meniscus, and I have added a torn meniscus in my other knee. Acupuncture, activity, and collagen in my coffee keep me comfortable. I don’t even take Advil. My sister’s theory is that I’m just super resistant to pain. Maybe I inherited that from my mom. She’s one crazy tough chick.

As summer break set in, I was spending a lot of time at the river. I swam in the Clackamas and the Salmon over 50 times in 2015. Cold water and no-impact are miracle-workers for injuries. However, when the wonder-mom, Becky Curry, called to see if I wanted to hike Wahclella with the Curry Crew, I was in. I figured my first hike should be slow and cute. It did not disappoint.

We packed lunches to eat at the falls and we headed out. Wahclella is the perfect hike for beginners or kiddos. It is one mile each way, with negligible elevation gain, and a lot of pay off. Plus, the Curry Crew had hiked it before, so I was basically with experts.

It was slow going, but it was a beautiful day. We stopped frequently to enjoy nature and for the girls to claim this rock or this tangle of trees “my house.” We spent a lot of time looking at these houses and then upgrading around the next bend. When we reached the falls it was incredible. The sun was shining and sparkling in rainbows as the mist hit the air. There were a lot of people there, but not enough to make it crowded.

While we ate our food and chatted, crazy people jumped into the water and swam around. It was not warm enough for that. I contemplated it, because I’m a bit of a dare devil, truth be told, especially about water, but I had no swim suit and a slow walk back in wet pants sounded like no fun at all. Instead, I took off my boots and socks and soaked my feet with the giggling girls. It was heavenly.

Eventually we had had enough waterfall time and we headed back. As we walked on one of the steeper portions of the trail a snake came slithering down right in front of us. Small “screams” and back-stepping toward the cliff were the result, but we all survived.

It was an incredible day and I can’t wait to do it again.

For information about Wahclella Falls click here.