Willamette Valley Wanderings and Wonderings: Silver Falls State Park

Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

Instead of a diary entry this week, I’ve chosen to write another entry in the Willamette Valley Wanderings and Wonderings Series. Ready? Good, here we go.

Wanderings

Last week, I hiked Silver Falls State Park, which is just outside of Salem, Oregon. The park is picturesque and beautiful. There are two main trails that take you from the South Falls to the North Falls and back again, for a total of 8.7 miles.

One trail takes you down into the gorge, and winds you in and out of different smaller trails. Along the way there are 10 different waterfalls you can experience. I managed to see 7 or 8; and, they were stunning.

I started at the South Falls, which is where the largest waterfall is located.

Gorgeous, yes? Yes.

From there it is about a 4 mile hike to the North Falls, and along the way there are some very pretty landscapes and riverscapes.

Here some of the other waterfalls along the way.

Once at the North Falls, I stopped to eat and drink a little. At this point, you can hike up to the Upper North Rim, which adds another .8 miles to the trip. I chose to forgo that portion of the hike, and head back along the rim trail.

About half-way back to the South Falls, I descended again into the gorge. It was such a fun trip. I began the hike at 7:30 am and finished at 11:15 am. When I started there were only a few cars in the parking lot, and when I finished there were only a few parking spaces left.

Wonderings

As I hiked I reflected upon my time growing up in Los Angeles, and the privilege I had as a child, youth, and young adult. Privilege in seeing and experiencing so much diversity. Diversity in landscapes, people, places, well, all of it was diverse. Lovely.

For the past 12 years, I’ve lived in much smaller areas, and I miss diverse people and places. Yet, as I hiked back to the South Falls last week, I was pleasantly surprised by the flood of diverse people coming into the park and on the trails. Yes, I did also get a little anxious. Mainly due to being away from people this past year during the pandemic.

Yet, most of what I felt was the deep connection I always get when I’m around people. As a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), I have the ability to feel other people’s emotions deeply, and can get from people, without words, much. Yes, it can be overwhelming, and, yet, it is also deeply profound. A true gift.

Being around so many diverse people excites me even more for my trip to Los Angeles next week, and for the coming trips I’ll take in the next few years.

Beautiful experiences, beautiful people, beautiful planet.

Here are some more pics from the hike.

#culture, #diversity, #experiential, #geography, #highlysensitivepeople, #hiking, #life, #losangeles, #love, #oregon, #salem, #silverfalls, #travel, #waterfalls, #willamettevalleyhiking

A Blogger’s Diary 5/23/21: On the Week, Writing and Reflecting, Hiking, and Beauty

This Week

This week was full of preparation for the next fiscal year; and, continuing to reflect upon all of the beauty that surrounds us – really, both are equally true of this past week.

Before I write more about the latter, let’s take a look at the writing that occurred this week.

Writing and Reflecting

Photo by Kazi Mizan on Unsplash

The poem Beyond Time was a reflection on the internal work I’ve been engaged in these past four years. Continuing to be present to my emotions as they arise, and then following those back to the experiential seed.

The poem is also a reflection upon stillness of mind, which can and does occur, and the fact that, in those moments there is no time; it simply does not exist. Beautiful.

Writing the poem Atop, which was inspired by the WDYS #82 prompt, from Keep it Alive, by Sadje, was an interesting process. Initially, I had one idea, even wrote two stanzas, and then as I contemplated the two stanzas, another insight occurred, which is the poem in its present state.

Simply, the world exists in its present condition, when we view it as such. New experiences occur, and the world comes into view. As I’ve written about previously, the view we experience is based upon the concepts we hold about the world; and, this is only one way to view the world. 

As I’ve found out about, and experienced, there are many other ways to view the world, which is, well, quite freeing. 

Hiking

As you all know, I have a new series, Willamette Valley Wanderings and Wonderings, which now has two installments. This week, I hiked Silver Falls State Park, which was absolutely amazing.

I will save the details of the hike for the next installment of the Willamette Valley Wanderings and Wonderings series, however, I just had to include a few more pics in this diary entry.

Beauty

As I walked around campus this week, and contemplated the hike I was going to take on Saturday, I was present to all of the beauty that surrounds us. A flower blooming, a bird calling, a leaf dancing in the wind, a stranger helping another, there are so many things right in front of us, when we pay attention.

Part of my internal work, as you know, also includes my meditation practice, which has been transformational in my life. Being fully present is a gift, and we all have this gift within us.

When we let go of the concepts that typically drive our reactions, pause, reflect and contemplate our life, we learn stillness; and, it is in this stillness where presence to all that is within us, and without us lives. Beautiful.

As you walk through your week, notice the flowers, the trees, the people, and how that makes you feel. It is a tremendous experience.

Alright, that’s all for this week, my friends.

Be well, and have a lovely week.

#beauty, #blog, #blogger, #bloggers-diary, #blogging, #contemplation, #hiking, #introspection, #presence, #silver-falls-state-park, #willamettevalleyhiking, #writingandreflecting

Willamette Valley Wanderings and Wonderings: Chip Ross Park

Corvallis, Oregon

There are so many places to hike in the Willamette Valley. It is a beautiful place, full of rivers, creeks, hills, lakes, and, yep, lots and lots of trails.

This past week, I stayed local again, and completed a short hike out at Chip Ross Park. Chip Ross Park is located in North Corvallis, and is, in part, connected to the McDonal Research Forest, which I wrote about in my last entry.

The hike I completed at Chip Ross Park this past week, is a moderate trail, fairly level, sans the trails beginning, which is somewhat steep. The hike winds you back through the dense forest, where you can catch glimpses of wildlife, flowers, and many, many varieties of plants.

Here are some pics from the hike.

Beautiful, yes? Yep, I think so too.

As I wandered through the forest last week, I was wondering about joining a gym again. I’ve been noticing that my body is tight, especially in my shoulders, arms, and back. Much of this is due to the extensive amount of computer facetime that is required, and has been for almost 15 months, in a remote work world. 

When you spend 12 hours a day on a computer, working and then, yep, blogging, and are focused, you sit, well, a lot. Thus, more movement is needed. Yet, I am unsure if I’m ready to go to the gym regularly. 

Pre Pandemic, I was at the gym every day. Really. I rarely missed. Yet, today? I’m not sure if that is necessary or needed. Hm. More reflection needed.

What have you done to stay mobile during the pandemic?

Alright, that’s all for this installment. Next time, I’ll have some waterfalls to show you, as I will be traveling up to Salem to hike Silver State Falls next week. Fun.

Here are a few more pics from the hike, just for fun.

#corvallis, #corvallishiking, #corvallistrails, #hiking, #nature, #oregon, #trailsinoregon, #willamettevalley, #willamettevalleyhiking