October 11, 2003

The Coon Family Hiking Club
Official Hike #17

5.1 miles - 2 hours 20 minutes

The Hikers

The Ladies

Dotti: my lovely wife and the creator of who needs no introduction.

Lissa: one of the administrators on the DWLZ message board. She made it to the first and third DWLZ conferences, and has been a regular with the web page from early on.

Tracy: a moderator on several forums on the message board. She has been to all 3 of the DWLZ conferences.

Kelly: also a moderator on the message board. She also has been to all 3 of the DWLZ conferences.

The Gentlemen

Tom: the one who originated the idea of having a WOW reunion this weekend. Although newer to DWLZ than the WOW ladies, he is a prominent poster on the DWLZ message board, and was at the 3rd DWLZ conference, where the WOW group formed.

Rip: Dotti's brother, who came to the 3rd conference, and was one of the cofounders of WOW. Rip has been on hikes with us before, both as part of a CFHC hike, and before we formed the hiking club.

LeRoy: Dotti's and my son. He came to the 3rd conference and is part of the WOW group. He has been on several of the previous CFHC hikes, and we always love to have him along.

Al: Yours truly, the narrator and official historian of our hike.

The Hike

It had been almost 4 months since the last time we were at Sliver Falls and the weather had cycled in the meantime from wet and rainy, to hot and dry, and then back again.

The last time, we did the long loop, of over 7 miles. This time we did the short loop of just over 5 miles. We still got to see 7 of the 10 falls from the trail, and Dotti and I were able to show an eighth falls to Rip and Tom from a roadside pull out. The hike was fun and we got quite a bit of exercise.

If you want more detail on the trail that we walked please visit the Sliver Falls Hike in the Coon Family Hiking Club area. I tried to document everything about the trail on that hike. This time out we were interested in getting pictures of the people involved on the hike.

Here we are starting out. Introducing the players: starting at the top you see Dotti and Tracy. Along the bottom, left to right we have Rip, Leroy, Kelly, Tracy's arm , Al, and Tom.

We are near the parking lot, and next to the little restaurant lodge, where we came back and warmed up next to the fire after our hike.

Lissa took this picture but, as you will see later, her outfit was very similar to what Kelly was wearing. We had stopped at Wall Mart on the way over so Lissa, Kelly, and Tracy could buy some rain ponchos, which you can see they have on. Dotti unfortunately was stuck with my old Navy raincoat, because she thought I was going to pack her coat, and I was blissfully ignorant of that fact. As it turned out her coat was back at the hotel, and we were at the hiking trail, standing in the rain. I rummaged around in the car and found the raincoat for her, which kept her dry and warm, but it did not qualify as "fashionable." I think she had fun anyway. As you can see she is smiling.

Tom has his hood on with his rainproof Air Force coat over that. Rip has his raincoat and knit cap, and Kelly has her hood on. Unfortunately my raincoat didn't have a hood so Dotti's hair got fairly wet along the way, but Tracy has her poncho hood up and ready for action. LeRoy was kind enough to shoulder the pack for the day, which made things easier for me.
Here are the three lovely ladies that joined our Coon Family Hiking Club for the day. Lissa on the left, Tracy in the middle, and Kelly on the right, all seem ready for the worst that the rain can throw at us. (Fortunately all that preparation was not fully put to the test. We did get some rain, but it wasn’t bad.) Lissa and Kelly had matching hoods as well as the rain poncho that all three were sporting. And of course they had 3 matching beautiful smiles.

The tres amigas once again. This time, behind them you can see more of the trail that we had just walked from the cars.
Now we are approaching the bottom of the South Falls. (Remember if you want more details of what is on the trail visit our previous hike at Sliver Falls Hike.) The trail runs behind the falls and that is where we were headed next.

I got ahead of the group slightly at this point and took a shot of the falls from the other side.
In this picture you can see the rest of the group standing behind the falls, just to the right of center. (LeRoy's white pants and light colored coat are easy to spot.)

The view down stream from the South Falls.
The very top of the Lower South Falls. The path we are on led us under and behind those falls.

Lissa caught Tom and I in conversation. It is okay, the puddle at Tom's feet is just a hold over from the rain storm that passed through.
Standing under the Lower South Falls, you can see the water drops streaking downward, drawing lines of white on the picture. Off in the distance you can Tracy and LeRoy coming up the trail.

Now Dotti has joined the group and I think Kelly is standing behind them at this point.
With a bit of zoom, we can see Tracy on the left, then LeRoy, and Kelly over Dotti's shoulder. The stairs we descended to get here are visible on the right.

Tom and I had cleared the falls and were looking back at Rip who was thinking about how to catch a fish he saw below, and Lissa who was snapping our picture.
Here is a picture that Lissa took of us looking back the other way. Rip was intently looking out at the valley where the water was running away from the falls.

Lissa snapped two other pictures of us, and so I took the entire shot of one and then put an inset in the corner of that shot with the other one. In the main picture it looks like Tom was trying to part the waters, while I was ready to catch the action on the camera. The waterfall looked like rain drops between us and the camera.
On the left is a shot of Tom on the trail immediately following the falls. He looks ready for some more hiking, and the greenery behind him was calling to us. Note how dry his jacket looks.

On the right, I used the flash, and it made the background appear like night had instantly come over us. Now look at Tom's jacket. You can see water drops standing out all over it, highlighted by the flash.

Looking up the valley where the South Fork Sliver Creek runs away from the Lower South Falls.
These are the Lower North Falls where the North Fork Silver Creek goes over as it heads to join up with the South Fork Silver Creek, that we left after the passing under the Lower South Falls.

This is Double Falls. Way up at the top there is a short falls just visible against the dark ridge. Then there is the longer second falls easily visible.
Here I am playing around on the wet rocks, seeing if I can find a way to get wet. If I look like I was having trouble keeping my balance out there, it is because I was.

Tom looking on while I was making a fool of myself out under the Double Falls.
As Lissa, Tom, and I were coming back from the side trip to Double Falls the rest of the group had caught up to us and had already crossed the bridge before us. They were kindly waiting.

At 27 feet, Drake Falls, is the smallest of the 10 Silver Creek Canyon Falls.
This is the 106-foot Middle North Falls. There is a path that leads over to this falls and the trail looks like it runs under and behind the falls as well. I have not walked over there yet, but I hope to do so on our next visit to the Silver Falls area.

And the sign for the falls.
The smiles were so lovely that I just had to put this picture up. What Rip was thinking about is obscure, but I am sure it was important!

Here we go, trudging along the trail.
Here is a sign with a map on it that gives the mileages for various hiking possibilities. We took the "South Falls to Winter Falls" route on this day, for a 5 mile hike.

Looking down another beautiful valley.
Kelly, Tracy and Dotti enjoying the hike.

Winter Falls. This falls eluded Dotti and I last time we came to Silver Falls. But we made it there this time.
Here I am in front of Winter Falls.

The small fall pool for Winter Falls.
Dotti and Tracy at Winter Falls.

The smile that lights up my world! Dotti in front of Winter Falls.
The luckiest man on earth with my beautiful wife.

Tracy, Kelly and Dotti were not very happy with me about this time. They found out that instead of the hike being nearly over, it still had 1.6 miles to go, and a bit of climb up this hill to boot. I made myself scarce for a bit while they were able to simmer down.
LeRoy and Rip enjoying some conversation in a beautiful setting.

The fog and dark shadows hide the identity of this hiker coming towards us.
As he gets closer, we can see that it is Rip making his way through the thickening fog.

While Tracy, Lissa, Kelly and LeRoy were in one car heading back to the hotel, we who were in the other car (Dotti, Rip, Tom and myself) stopped at a turnout where I knew there was a good view of the North Falls. (When Dotti and I did this hike last time we walked past this turnout on the trail that runs just below the parking lot, and were surprised at how great the view was of the North Falls.) Here I got a picture of Tom with the North Falls in the background.
And here is Rip, with a smile and without his hat. I think he enjoyed the hike today!

Here is a map of the hike we took, with all of the mileages marked out. It was 5.1 miles (including the visit to Double Falls) and we hit 7 of the 10 falls.

Dotti reminded me that there were some of the group that individually probably would have rather of not done the hike at first, because of the rain. But fortunately the group prevailed and I think that everyone was glad that they had gone once it was all over. Group support can come in many different forms, but it can be a very positive thing!

I really enjoyed the hike and I am glad that we were able to do it.