August 13th, 2005 | Published in old and busted
Today we loaded up the ride with Michael & Sue and headed out for Ramona Falls. Assorted guides aren’t really clear on how long the trail to the falls is, but most people seem to place it at about a seven mile loop. It’s a pretty easy hike that only gains about 1,000 feet over the course of the first half.
It was a hot day, today, and there were a lot of little flies out on the trail. I don’t think anyone got bit, but it was hard to stop and take many pictures because the bugs were out of hand. Alison did a sort of stomping, flapping, hat-slapping dance to keep them away.
It was also very busy. We ran into a lot of people coming and going, which meant my developing theory about backpacking Ben was easily proven this time around: Someone will say “now that’s the way to do it!” upon seeing Ben riding around on my back. Not that they’re wrong. He’s got the good seat on any given expedition. Even the two women on horseback agreed that Ben had it almost as good as them. Considering a horse’s inability reach back and untangle a binky or change a diaper on the trail, I’d say they were probably blinded by the affection they had for their animals.
Wondering why it was I had much better luck the last time I shot the falls, once we got there, I remembered: It was late in the season and the day was pretty overcast. Today, though, there was enough sun coming in through the trees that there was a massive bright spot and a lot of detail left in the shade. Tricky to expose, and I didn’t do any multi-exposure stuff to try to milk a good composite.
Once we came in off the trail, we headed for Tacho’s … a Mexican restaurant in Gresham. It’s not really known for its food so much as its insanely sweet and delicious pina coladas, which are topped off with whipped cream. The dining room has a big fountain in the middle, and it turns into a karaoke place after 9. It was a good spot to sit and wind down. Michael entertained himself by working on Ben’s already plain preference for left-handedness.
All in all, a pretty good day. The longest hike we’ve undertaken so far this summer.
Oh … one other thing: Topo! was pretty handy today. I used it to trace out our route and print a map as well as upload a collection of waypoints into the GPS. We wouldn’t have been lost without all that stuff, but it was nice to know where we were on the trail at any given time. It reminded me of a doomed expedition to find a lake on a hike in Yellowstone two summers ago, which is pretty much what convinced me that a GPS and decent mapping software would be pretty handy.
I don’t know how many more hikes we’ve got this season, because we’re already half way through August, next week is the Clackamas Co. Fair and rodeo , and we have a few weekend’s of company coming in September, but Silver Falls is looking like a pretty likely bet. And we want to squeeze in a camping trip to the coast.
When we got home, by the way, we plopped down in front of the t.v. and watched a Globe Trekker episode about the Pacific Northwest. It was cool to see some spots we’ve been this summer (Florence, Astoria, Hood River), but also a little weird that the treatment Portland got was pretty much “they all ride bikes or have cars POWERED BY BATTERIES, and the service workers are all far out and funny and have weird facial hair. Oh … and sometimes the bus is free! Truly Ecotopia!”