Portland Travel – Ten Falls Loop Hike

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Portland Trip – Ten Falls Hike

 

 

This is first leg of our Portland Trip. After the Kickoff and Bit of drama, we are all set to explore the greenery in and near Portland.

 

 

 We got up at around 9 AM after a good sleep, We re-filled our tanks one at 7b petrol and our natural tank at Burger King. After 700 mile drive, we had to do another 77 mile for the actual fun to begin. We left Eugene at 10:30 AM and had three routes to chose to reach Silver Falls State Park which is our first destination

 

  1.  I – 5 N  80 miles 1 hr 37 mins
  2.  1-5 N and OR-214 N/Silver Falls Hwy SE  1 hr 38 min
  3.  1-5N OR-226E and OR-214 N Silver Falls Hwy SE   1 hr 39 mins

 

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Since the duration and distance was same, we chose to leave the already boring I-5 N highway and head towards the OR-226 E and OR-214 SE Hway. It turned out that we had made a good choice. We had to pass through a few residential and school areas where people strictly follow the Speed limits.  The speed limits were as low as 15mph as compared to California’s 25mph at residential / school area. While people in California vary their speeds to +/- 5, here in Oregon they seem to stick to speed limit pretty accurately. Vishnu had to control his instincts of upping the tempo just like anyone  who has jus arrived from India would have, after seeing such an empty road.

 

After few miles, we entered a narrow road with farmlands at both sides of the road and it was Blisss to see such a greenery, especially in USA taking the fact that the perception we Indians have about the USA. This country is not all about the skyscrapers, they do seriously take care of their natural resources such as forests and so on. I was seeing the amount of greenery after long time since I had left Udupi. We wanted to get out of the car, but we cannot stop our vehicles anywhere on the highway apart from designated parking spots or shoulders.  But  we made a  short video while driving through these nice farmlands.

 

 

 

We reached the Silver Falls State park around 1.30 PM and without wasting much time we were into our groove walking along the falls and for the first time I am experiencing the waterfall from its behind.  Silver falls state park a.k.a Ten Falls loop hike, where you can hike to see 10 amazing waterfalls where all of them are above 100ft in height, out of which four of them can be experienced by walking behind the waterfalls. The total trail is about 9 mile loopback hike. I don’t have words to explain the amazing experience I had, so here is the video. (Please note that I’m very poor in making video and adding sound effects, so if you don’t like the sound effects, Please mute and watch 🙂 )

 

 

 

Initially we thought we would be starved for food as it need solid 4-5 hours to reach all ten falls, but never felt even after walking around 5 miles with jus a burger in our stomach. We left the park around 7 pm. It is a 1.5 hours journey to Portland from the park. The journey was smooth except at the end where we could not cope up with Oregon low speed limits and few weird / different traffic rules. 

 

If you are going to Oregon after spending good time in Bay area, here are some rules which kinds of surprise you:

 

  • The traffic lights are hanged on top with a rope in an unusual position, and we could not see the stop line at all. Me & Vishnu thought we had crossed few red signals and was worried about it. Till now we haven’t got any citation notice  from DMV and we think we are good.
  • U turns are NOT permitted unless or otherwise written as such, which is exactly opposite of California driving rules
  • Unlike most of the states in US, Gas stations ( In India we call them Petrol Bunks ) does not allow self-serving and on top of it, It is crime if we fill the gas by ourselves. There will be personnel to do the same and I would back this as it would certainly create more jobs.
  • This one has to be strange of all, at least for me.  After all the hiking at waterfalls, we headed to restaurant which was inside the hotel room we checked in. Since my two pair of shoes was filled with dirt , I went bare feet so that I don’t make the floor dirty. But to my surprise, the restaurant waiter did not allow me and on top of that straightaway said that its the law that one cannot walk into restaurant with bare foot. Although I explained my situation, he did not listen to me and I had to walk in wearing the dirt shoes, which seemed fine for him.

 

Anyways, it was a good first day. We had a plan to goto Portland downtown, but could not as we were a bit tired and had to get back early the next day for another Scenic Drive.  More on that in next post.

 

Before I leave, Here are some of the Pictures captured from my Nikon D7000

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Its Only Me..

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This is not all of it. There is still more. I hate to share the photos through Facebook, but I have limited choice and soon will be migrating my photos to Flickr. For now, Here is the link to all Portland pics and my photography portfolio

Portland FB Album

My Flickr Photo Stream

500px Photo Stream

 Have Fun 🙂

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Portland Travel – Kickoff and bit of Drama

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It was Memorial day weekend and its been 5 months since I had made a long road trip. Good thing was Vishnu had arrived in Bothell, WA and that is the only state in west coast that I had not been in my 15 months stay.

Initially I was planning to fly to Seattle, but I did not find any place which demanded my attention. As we came close to the long weekend, I finalized the destination to be Portland – The #1 Green City of USA. Its aligns with my wish to make Photography trip as I had never went onto a long trip for Photoshoot with my Nikon DSLR.

 

As I was trying to know more about Portland, Pradeep, whom I met in twitter contacted me and said he was inspired by my Cross Country scenic drive and wanted a similar kind of tour as he is arriving in San jose for internship. I got to know that he is interested in Photography very much, it took less time to convince me to join him in the trip plan. Great, Vishnu confirmed that he and his friend are ready for the trip while Pradeep was keen get on-road. that makes us four, a perfect number for fun filled scenic tour.

 

 

The confirmation of all four turned out be late, which means the flight rates reached sky high and we are left with no option other than drive. Portland is 12 hours from my place and after making all Permutations and combinations, I finally balanced the drive for all of us, which means Me and pradeep would reach to  Eugene ( 9 hrs drive from Sunnyvale) while Vishnu and Pradyumna (Vishnu’s new roommate) would drive from Bothell to Eugene ( around 6 hrs drive ).


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San Jose –> Eugene                                                                              Seattle —-> Eugene



Fortunately, I would love the drive than the flight, as I had a bitter experience with flight during my last trip to India. Pradeep had office on Friday, whereas I had holiday and I was waiting for my Camera Lens filters to arrive and later on did pick up some fruits and water from Safeway. Pradeep came to my home at sharp 3 PM, and no matter how many things one would have taken care, there are always few last minute hiccups and purchases which means we had to leave home at 4PM.

  

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At last we were on road only to find ourselves caught in Huge traffic on I-680 Freeway. We drove around 5mph, where as we were expecting to cruise in around 80mph. The traffic was expected during long weekends and it continued for 2 hours and finally we were able to cruise.  I took a break from Driving at 9PM and Pradeep after requesting me for a long time, got a chance to accelerate.



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  Car set to Cruise mode, iPhone tuned to play Kannada songs, We turned out to be AWESOME 🙂


A bit of DRAMA to wake me up:

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I got back to driving after two hours, and on the way I saw few cops, who were highly alert on highways due to long weekend.  I heard that Oregon cops are much stricter in speed limits than the California cops. In a sense, they would not tolerate the speed limit if crossed by 10mph, while the California cops generally allow unless you are very unlucky (This is only my observation and may not be true). 

Around 2 AM,  while I observed one such cop who was dealing with person he had caught, I gradually tried to maintain the speed limit and to mention I was on fast track lane (left most lane). Strangely, as soon as I passed him,  I noticed his car with flashy lights turned back on the road.  I tried to maintain a vigil on him through rear mirror and was certain he was following me. He had turned off the lights after getting back on road, may be to go unnoticeable.

 

 I was constantly worried of his following and tried to maintain the proposed speed limit but in reality I was driving around 60mph, -5mph than the proposed 65 mph. After following me for 5 min, He switched back his lights, which is an indication to pull over. However, since he did not had the siren, I was not sure if that was directed to me, and took a while before realizing it and few more minutes to find the spot towards right so that I could stop safely. 

 

 The cop had parked the car so accurately that his car lights was flashing on the my car mirrors and I was not even able to open my eyes. He politely mentioned that I was stopped for going slow by 5-7 miles less than proposed  speed limit on a fast track lane( left most lane). He took the rental car registration and my driving license and went to back to his car. Meanwhile, my I started to shiver, as I was worried about the HUGE fines slapped ( I had already payed 2 fine for different purpose) and what could be black point in the driving history, which would in turn trigger my Auto Insurance rates. After 20 minutes, The cop came and handed over registration card, but that 20 minutes was enough to completely block my mind and by seeing the registration card with the flashy lights all around, I thought he was issuing a Ticket as I found number 280 in large font size. I asked him, could he let me with a warning as I was under-speeding than overspeed, for which he mentioned it was jus a registration card and he did exactly what I am asking for. He was very polite in the whole process and also insisted to exit to next rest area, if I was feeling tired. He asked me about why did I took so long to make a stop after he signaled.  I explained that i could not find a right spot which he understood. It is the one thing I admire US police, as they really understand the situation, without blindly slashing fines, even though he could have as per law (again Its my observation and hearing experiences ).

Once I realized I was let out with warning, I was relieved and got  back to track and trust me for rest of the trip, I kept a tight check on speed and drove mostly on right most lane (slow lane) even though I did not want to do it. it is just the incident at the back of your mind makes you take such decisions, 🙂

 

Finally we reached Eugene at around 2 :30 AM 1.5 hours more than expected time. Vishnu and pradyumna already had a good sleep. We chit chatted for a while and and went asleep.

 

Next up on this Trip – Silver Falls State Park – Ten Falls Loop Hike