Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017
Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Thursday, June 16, 2016

McDowell Creek Park - Mon., June 13, 2016

We had smoothies for breakfast this morning. I wanted to shop at the Discovery Shop second-hand store. Then I wanted to take mom hiking at McDowell Creek County Park east of Lebanon, Oregon.

At the thrift store, I was looking for a good deal on jeans. But the only jeans I found were way too short for me. However, I found two really cute T-shirts. You'll be seeing them on me in the next few days.

McDowell Creek County Park beckoned with promises of hikes to beautiful waterfalls: Royal Terrace Falls, Crystal Pool and Majestic Falls. First we needed to eat lunch, so we made a stop in Albany, Oregon, at Elmer's Pancake House. The hazelnut crusted cod sounded pretty good so we both ordered it. Mom ordered a side salad and I had beef barley soup, plus when our meal came, we had steamed vegetables and rice. It was very good and we were properly nourished for a two-mile hike.

Upon arrival at the park, we needed the potty. The maintenance man had just cleaned them. As we started to leave the parking area, the maintenance guy said, "Do you know your lights are on on your car?" Oh my gosh! I'm used to automatic headlights and forgot to turn off the lights on Mom's car. I'm glad we hadn't left on the trail yet or we would have returned to a very dead battery. And we were out in the country, far from a service station. Whew!

I was reading the description of the hike on OregonHikers.org. The trail we were taking had a rating of "easy," and called it a "Lollipop Loop." Hah! I wish I had the photos to show you that I took on my cell phone, but I cannot get my cell phone to send the photos to my email. I have been trying for three days! (Yes, I FORGOT my camera. Shame on me.) You can see photos of the falls on the link at the top of this paragraph.

Royal Terrace Falls is a lovely, 119'-tall tiered waterfall. Our walk instructions from OregonHikers.org said to do the loop, backtrack a few feet from Royal Terrace to the stone staircase. Well, the stone staircase started out with a very big first step. Mom headed up the stairs and she thinks there were about 86 stairs. We huffed and puffed our way up. Maybe this was a lollipop loop for young, frequent-mountain-hiking studs, but we were an 86-year-old and 63-year-old. To us, this was NOT an easy part of the loop!

Anyway, we next had beautiful views at the top of the waterfall and continued along the upper trail high above the river. We walked and walked, finally finding a fork in the trail. All I could figure without a trail map in front of us was that we should turn left and go down to the river level. (There were no trail signs or maps on this trail indicating which way to go.)

When we got toward the bottom, we could see that a big tree had fallen across the trail. In order to get down to the road and river, some temporary steps had been carved into the hillside. The steps were huge and had slippery mud. I helped mom down. When we got to the road, we looked back at where this trail left the road to go uphill and it looked like there had been a tape across the trail to keep people from going that way, but the tape was broken.

We then crossed a bridge and got on what we thought was the trail to Majestic Falls. People coming from the other way confirmed it was the right trail, but warned us there were steep, slippery rock steps ahead and some of the rocks were hidden in the undergrowth. One of the ladies said she almost fell. When we got to the stairs, we decided not to go down them and took the "easy" part of the loop back to the car.

The lady we talked to on the trail told us we could drive to Majestic Falls, so that's what we did. When we arrived at that part of the trail, there were more steep, slippery stone steps down to a viewing platform of Majestic Falls. I went down and took a photo for Mom. She didn't want to go down more of those rock stairs and I don't blame her. Neither of us wanted to fall!

Today ended up being more of an adventure than we planned, but we enjoyed the beautiful scenery, cool weather and the waterfalls.

When we got home, I took some photos of the flowers in Mom's front garden. She has lilies and geraniums, plus trailing petunias in her flower boxes.

Such pretty lilies
It's a big, outdoor flower arrangement!
Lilies and geraniums
Trailing petunias
We made it home at 7:15 p.m. and had left-over trout in lettuce wraps with avocado and tomato. We also had steamed beets.

It was quite a day. That evening we vegged out watching American Ninja Warriors. That is my favorite sports show!

All for today! Isn't that enough?

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