Silver Falls State Park & Lazy Days

Yesterday I went to Silver Falls State Park! Best decision ever! I found it randomly through some searches for hikes in the area (also found the Silver Star Trail in Washington which I am dying to do now also!).

I woke up early-ish yesterday and headed south! The drive was just under two hours and I was so glad to find how easy it was to pay to park and that there were no crazy fees at the park!

I started out at the main lot and headed to see one of the most photographed falls in Oregon! Notice that you can walk behind the falls!

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It was very icy out there and I was moving so slow! There were rails along the way to hold onto though and the ice wasn’t anything too extreme, so I kept on going! This park has 10 waterfalls and you can do a 4-5 mile loop and hit a bunch of them, so that was the goal!

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Little bitty falls! I don’t think this one counts towards the 10 falls!

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The next fall was also awesome and the trail continued behind it also! Unfortunately, the trail on the right side of this photo was like a skating rink and it was tilted towards the water (doesn’t seem like it in the photo, but it was). I literally had to crawl on my hands and knees and then decided to give up! Quite frankly, I was freezing cold and while I could have crawled to that rail in the distance, I wasn’t feeling that adventurous!

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After having to stop there, I went back to my car to try and drive to the parking lots near some of the others! I had seen two lots on my drive in so I knew you could!

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This one was tricky to get a photo with! I had to crawl down to the bottom and then couldn’t get far enough away to get a good shot of the entire fall! It was amazing with all the ice near it though! Imagine the ground covered in that!

I decided to go to one more waterfall and then head out! I was so cold and my gloves got wet holding onto all the rails, so my hands were barely functioning anymore! I was grateful for my warming time in the car driving between these places, but it was such a short distance that I didn’t get warm enough!

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This one was so amazing! To walk behind the fall, you’re in this huge arch and it’s so incredibly loud with all the water rushing over the rocks above you and hitting below you! It also was a huge amount of water coming down! Very awesome! I’m adding this one to my favorite falls list!

Afterwards, I stopped by the outlets to check The North Face outlet for gloves! Of course, I accidentally got back on the highway instead of turning into the outlets and it took me 16 miles out of my way (the exits are so far apart!). I ended up buying another pair of Under Armour leggings (I LOVE their leggings and wear them all winter- either for running, under jeans, or under yoga pants). I got lost trying to find The North Face and then when I found it, it was super crowded and they only sold jackets.

I headed back to get dinner with Juliette. I was absolutely starving (it had been 9 hours since I ate) so I asked if she was still going to want to get dinner or should I stop in Portland. No answer (she rarely has her phone on her). She finally answered when I was minutes from home (30 minutes north of Portland) and said Roy wasn’t going to tolerate sitting in a restaurant! I was craving Waffle Window so I headed downtown! Turns out, I missed them by 45 minutes! I was so bummed and so freaking hungry! I found a Thai place close by with great reviews of their crab langoon (do Thai places call it langoon and not rangoon?)! I love crab rangoon so I went there! Turns out, they were out of crab langoon! UGH! #travelfails

I ate a mediocre dish (I’m not a big oriental food person) and then went to get a berry pie from Whiffies. I headed home to eat it and then relaxed for the night!

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I had planned on hiking Angel’s Rest today but stay asleep till 1pm! Impressive! Then I laid in bed reading blogs, got up to eat, and am now sitting by the fire writing this. I may head to the gym later or to the grocery store, but being lazy is feeling pretty nice today. I wish I could just curl up in my pajamas by the fire and have a movie night, but living with an almost 3 year old prevents that type of thing from happening!

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Time to go clean up the kitchen from my 3pm breakfast!

 

 

Drift Creek Falls and a Quick Update

This past weekend I went out to see Ben and Kaitlin at their beach house again. I got there on Sunday afternoon and we headed out to hike Drift Creek Falls! It was a really easy hike (maybe 3 miles total?) and had a beautiful waterfall at the end! I’ve done a lot of waterfall hikes and this was actually probably one of my favorite falls I’ve seen! There was a lot of water coming down that fall! And the suspension bridge going over the little gorge area was so fun! We climbed up all the rocks to get back on the trail and my butt has been so sore! I suppose that’s what happens when you can’t squat anymore!

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I left around noon on Monday to go to Pheasant Creek Falls, but after not passing any cars for miles and off roading to the trailhead, I was a bit creeped out. I’m sure it would have been completely fine, but I was worried that random forest creatures would get me! It was only a mile to the fall and it had great reviews, so I was really a bit annoyed with myself for getting too creeped out to hike it and now am convinced that I have to go back. (By the way, this is where I’m really glad my car didn’t break down!)

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Despite skipping the hike, I still saw some beautiful scenery! All the trees in the woods are covered in moss and I’m still catching the end of the colorful leaves!

We reviewed my Terrible Tuesday already! Today is shaping up to be better than yesterday! (Not hard to do.) I woke up at 9:30 and headed out to the gym for a bit. I was only there for about 40 minutes and then came home to shower and make breakfast! I’m feeling a bit sluggish (as usual) before work and would love to lay down for a nap, but I have to head out shortly. I tend to wake up once I have my coffee and actually get in the hospital. Can’t see all the dreary weather then!

That’s really about it! Just dropping in for a quick hello and to share a few pictures of the hike!

Portland No More? Fall Day!

Just a quick update! I’ll go into more detail later most likely, but this morning my recruiter called me. She said the hospital in Oregon sent her my schedule and that it was for night shift! …?! She was in Vegas at the traveler’s conference so I guess was just catching up on work today and saw it and knew that I had accepted the evening position, not the night position. As a matter of fact, I expressed during the “interview” that I would only work the evening shifts so that definitely should not have happened. I basically said I wouldn’t go there if I had to work nights. It’s not what I accepted and I’m not working for a place doing something that I absolutely did not agree to. She’s going back to them on Monday and telling them that I won’t work there if they don’t switch me back to evenings, so I have no idea what will happen. This means that I may be out of a job in Portland now and have to look for a new one, which is a total bummer because I was really excited about being able to take a Christmas trip with Jon and to make it home over the holidays with the rest of the high school crew. I’m just going to go with the flow though. I know these things can happen while traveling and it’s exactly why I still have a job at home. We’re short staff all the time so I should still be able to get any hours that I need on short notice until I lock in an assignment. 8 week assignments aren’t nearly as common as 13 week assignments though, so I’m thinking the California trip is out.

In other positive news, I managed to make it to the gym yesterday after an 8 hour workday! Totally surprised I made it, especially since I was exhausted on my drive home and even laid down to take a nap when I got home!  The workout was as follows:

Strength:
Power Snatch-3 reps @80% of 1RM every 90 seconds x 8 cycles (I don’t do anything with a wide overhead grip, so I did clean and jerks at 65#, which ended up being fairly light)

WOD:
3 Rounds For Time: (I finished in 5:35)
2 Rope Climbs
15 Double KB/DB Swings-2x 35#/20# (I used 15#)
15m KB Front Rack Lunge- 2x 35#/20# (15#)

It was a good workout and I definitely am glad to be back doing some CrossFit again, even though I was loving my gym time in Mass too. I’ve been really sore since I’m back to doing a lot more varied movements and I’m able to actually do some oly lifts without worrying about dropping my weights.

After the gym, I rushed home to shower and get ready. My roommate Marianne and I headed downtown to meet up with Lizzie and Gina for dinner at Bone Garden Cantina! It was a good time but we sat inside and it was so loud! I may be showing my age here, but I just want to eat in nice, quiet places so I can actually hear what people are saying to me! Aside from that, my burrito was so spicy and there was no indication on the menu that my bean burrito would be spicy!

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Me, Lizzie, Gina, Marianne

After dinner, Gina left to go meet up with her boyfriend and Lizzie and Marianne and I went to a bar down the road, where Laura met up with us. We enjoyed a drink and then we were all tired and decided to head home. Lizzie and I laughed about how this time, we were both so tired and the last time we hung out (two years ago), I got so drink that I slept naked in Gina’s bed and threw up sushi in her sink. Not my best days. We’ve grown up so much (don’t worry- that was not normal for me 2 years ago, either!).

Today I went hiking with Jon, Crista, and Billy in north Georgia. We went for a 3 hour hike out at the start of the Appalachian Trail. It would have been nice to make it out to Springer Mountain, but it was later when we arrived and we were all wanting to go apple picking still! I’m not sure how far we went! Maybe 7-8 miles? It wasn’t strenuous by any means where we were, but it was definitely an uphill battle most of the way! Good hike for sure.

After that, we headed out to go apple picking! As soon as we arrived, I got my first bee sting ever! Right on my forearm! It swelled up like crazy and was so painful. Most of the swelling has gone down but it is still really painful. Anyway, we had an awesome apple fritter and ended up grabbing some apples from the orchards. It was a lot of fun and definitely good to hang out with Crista and Billy! And of course, a day with Jon is always enjoyable!

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We stopped by the Nike outlet and spent money that I definitely shouldn’t have! I didn’t buy any workout clothes for almost a year while my thumb was injured, and then I wasn’t really getting into the gym as much so I bought only my running pants and running shirts, so it’s been awhile since I’ve gotten anything else. I loved one of the hoodies I bought from Nike. Good hiking hoodie for cold weather!

Now Jon and I are home and I’m about to get ready for bed since I work tomorrow. I hate working on weekends when Jon is home (at least while I’m traveling). I’m considering picking up a few hours at work this week since I’d go into overtime and I’m wondering how long I’ll be home for now! Might as well get some hours in! I’ll have to see what’s available tomorrow when I get there! I want to enjoy my stay though and not work too much! Just have to find that balance!

Mt Katahdin, Cape Arundel Inn, & HotelTonight.com

Back to some traveling posts! I don’t remember exactly where I was in the last post, so I’m going to just talk about my favorite day that we had! Hiking Mt Katahdin! We ended up staying in this really ghetto hotel on Wednesday night since the bugs in central Maine were just insanely horrible! We opted out of camping, which was kind of a bummer since the weather was so perfect for it and we had a good time camping at Acadia! When we woke up early the next morning, we got into the rental car to find that we were supposed to pull over cause our engine was too hot! I’ll probably get into this in another post (make a nice review on the Hertz in Portland, ME), but it ended up delaying our day by about 3 hours since we had to wait on Hertz to bring us another car. We did end up getting a nice breakfast at a local place and having some time to repack the car and organize our camping stuff.

I think we got to Katahdin around 11 and started our hike around 11:30. We had been told that it can take 8-12 hours to hike it (by the way, Katahdin is the northernmost point of the Appalachian Trail, and since we have the southernmost point in Georgia and have been there frequently, Jon really wanted to do this hike) and figured that we could probably make it in 8 since we’re fairly in shape.

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There I am, in shape. The guy at the information booth had told us that there were two trails to hike to the top and that both were similar in difficulty. He actually told us this the day before and he told us we could hike out to a waterfall near the Abol campground and that it would be a good indication of how difficult the trail would be.

We got to the waterfall without any real issues (from the Abol campground). Jon has a really hard time with inclines because his heart rate increases so much and he loses energy (he’s actually been to a doctor for it), so we had a few breaks, but nothing major. We hit our first mile in 22 minutes and thought we were golden!

IMG_2141_2(That picture is actually on the way down, but that was the waterfall.) We kept on hiking and realized that it was getting harder and we ended up taking way more breaks for Jon. We passed a few people going up who were asking us how much longer it was which I didn’t really get since we were clearly on the ascent as well. Most of them never caught back up and we never passed them going down, so I assume they turned around.

As we kept going, Jon and I were just amazed by some of the rocks to climb.

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I’m only 5′ tall, so some of the rocks to climb up were just ridiculous! We were walking through small streams and scaling rocks. It was absolutely nothing like the easy peasy hike to that first waterfall! Our second mile took us about an hour and 15 minutes and we honestly thought it couldn’t get much harder! We kept waiting for it to get easier and Jon had told me that the last 2 miles were above the tree line so I assumed that they would be easier!

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After I took this picture (in which Jon lifted me up to the rocks because it was was so high), we ran into a man and his kid and asked if the trail was about to get any easier. He looked at us in all seriousness and said, “It’s going to get way harder. Good thing you’re small (he was looking at me, obviously), because it’ll be easier to get through some of the areas when you’re small.” I don’t even know what that means. We could tell we were almost to the tree line though, so we kept on going.

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And then we saw this. And we both kind of looked at each other and thought about if we should keep going. At the same time that we were deciding, we were absolutely freezing our asses off because the wind above the tree line was so intense! There’s still snow at the top of Katahdin in some areas, so think about how cold it must have been. We stopped and ate some sandwiches and I tried to curl up underneath Jon’s legs and by his body somehow and my body hurt from my muscles being so tense from shivering/shaking so much.

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We decided to just snap some pictures where we ended and that making it all the way to the summit wasn’t that important. At this point, we were over 3 hours in, meaning each subsequent mile after numero uno was over an hour long, and I had been telling Jon all along how hard this trail was going to be to go back down due to how steep the rocks were. So, somewhere around three miles in, we turned back. Mt Katahdin won. And then I continued to absolutely freeze for probably the next mile back down. Our knees were killing us and we joked about how old we are now and then the inflammation set in and our knees finally felt better.

We did get some awesome views heading down though.

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We reached the end after almost seven hours. Our time down took almost the full three hours that it took to go up, which really wasn’t surprising. I felt like I was going much slower on the way down than we did on the way up. We were both pretty happy when our hike was over, especially since I ate two PB&Js at our turnaround point and was having some serious bathroom issues towards the end (this is the real world, people).  I think I ran to that nasty outhouse with flies everywhere and it seriously looked like a golden throne by that point.

On our way out, we stopped by this gem:

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After that, we headed back to Kennebunkport to try and stay at Cape Arundel Inn, where we had stayed a few nights prior and absolutely loved. Come to find out, they put an ad on Hotel Tonight for Cape Arundel Inn but were putting guests at their sister hotel that didn’t have a beach view (after we drove a few hours for this specific hotel and were paying $130 for the room which was way more than we wanted to spend- but we LOVED it the first time). We thought this was shady business, so cancelled that night. Let me just say, if you ever need to book a hotel on the day of, use Hotel Tonight! They have good deals and were seriously awesome in handling the whole fiasco with Cape Arundel Inn! We got a real person on the phone after a short hold and then when she had to go to call Cape Arundel Inn, she called me back to keep me updated despite not hearing back from the manager, but she didn’t want to keep us waiting. They were unable to fix the situation so they ended up refunding our room at Cape Arundel Inn so we could book at a place down the road (and they have a “no refunds” policy) and then gave us an additional $50 for booking whenever we want since we had to go through all that trouble! And that wasn’t even their fault- they had no idea Cape Arundel Inn was booking people for their sister hotel! Jon and I were both amazed at what a great job Hotel Tonight did getting everything taken care of and they were so nice about it! I have a feeling we’ll be booking everything on there from here on out. (This is NOT a paid advertisement, obviously, cause who would pay somebody with like, 5 readers for an advertisement?)

Anyway, off to bed. I just finished up three nights at work in a row and have tomorrow off. I’m meeting a girl from my old job in Boston tomorrow since she just came up here for a travel assignment closer to the actual Boston area. I’m pretty excited, but the weather looks pretty crappy for tomorrow. Bummer.

Valentine’s Day Weekend!

Happy Valentine’s Day weekend! It ended up being a pretty good weekend over here! Jon and I went to Brio for our Valentine’s Day dinner on Friday night.

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The food really wasn’t anything that special but Jon and I had a good time anyway.

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We were planning on riding the ferris wheel in Atlanta but the line was so long and it also started to rain as soon as we drove up to it! So we came home instead and I crashed early!

We woke up Saturday morning with big plans to go hiking, but then I started cleaning and got ready really slowly and I wanted to go buy my wedding band… So no hiking happened at all! I did, however, buy my wedding band (for like $300 more than I was expecting! shocker) as well as three new shirts from the outlet mall. Definitely not what I need while saving for a wedding.

After that, Jon and I decided to head up to join my parents at the cabin for the rest of the afternoon.

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We saw some snow capped “mountains” on the way! We actually had thought about going up that mountain, which is Brasstown Bald but I figured it’d be closed because of the snow. We hung out with my parents for a bit and then Jon and I decided to head out and go for a drive and hang out for a bit in town.

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We stopped along our drive to get a picture of one of our favorite views! Apparently I deleted most of the pictures already off my phone though! Oh well! Once we finished that, we stopped to pick up some barbecue to take back to the a cabin for  dinner with my mom and dad. We ended our night with a game of Scrabble (that I won!) and then Jon and I stopped to pick up my resized wedding band and headed home!

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This morning I was going to wake up early and go to yoga but I could not fall asleep for the life of me last night! And Tom woke me up all night and so did Jon snoring! So I got up, studied for my test and then took my test (it’s online), and then headed out for a run! It was pretty warm out and although I actually wanted to go to speed work at LA Fitness, I decided I better take advantage of the weather when possible!

I ran 4 miles and felt like dying! I also went a different route than usual and one road was really hilly and then my third mile was almost entirely up hill. One road is 95% up hill and I hated every minute of it. I didn’t notice any knee pain at all though, but my left ankle was feeling it, as always. At least that pain immediately goes away when I stop running. I finished in 37:13 and all my miles were between 9:06 and 9:29, so really not very good. I’ll take it though since I haven’t been running in so long!

I got home and had planned on going to the gym for a leg day but it was just way too nice out! Jon said he’d go to Stone Mountain so we headed over there. It was really packed, so we decided to walk some trails instead of walking up the mountain.

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We grocery shopped after that and now we’re home! I’ve been putting off a lot of biology since we’ve been out of class so much lately. It’s so hard to stay on track with so many snow days! The test I finished today was supposed to be taken 3 weeks ago but has been delayed! So tonight I’ll be studying and heading to bed early. Doesn’t feel like tomorrow is Monday! Waaah!

Have a good night!