A Walk in the Woods


We were feeling housebound a couple of weeks ago so we drove up to Silver Falls State Park and went for a hike. The park, Oregon's largest, is only about an hour from our home but you can forget Monmouth exists when you step onto the canyon trail. Despite the cold, damp day there were a surprising number of people about—families with small children, college students, a few older hikers like us. We arrived about 12:30 and had lunch at the lodge cafe—a take-out counter that gave us an excellent turkey sandwich.


The lodge at Silver Falls State Park.

The lodge is a Depression Era building constructed in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Like many of our national park structures built in that period, it is lovingly crafted, beautiful, and built to last. Another similar but more spectacular Oregon landmark, Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, was built by the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1936–37. It was built entirely by hand and is still hosting nearly two million visitors each year.

Timberline Lodge with Mt. Hood above.

We wondered whether President Obama will soon be forming his own CCC and if so how the buildings would compare. Not well I think. I can't imagine anything like this being created today. Nor can I imagine any Republican voting for a WPA or CCC, no matter how badly needed.




There are a number of trails through Silver Falls Park, which is Oregon's largest state park, but the most popular, and the one we chose to follow, is the ten falls trail. Unfortunately storms and slides had closed part of the trail so we took the 4.5 mile shortcut and missed seeing some of the falls. Nevertheless, it was a good hike and a good day.


Ferns and moss grow thickly on canyon trees.

A few old-growth Douglas Firs live here too.
This one was too big to hug.

If you look closely you can see the trail that goes behind the falls.

It felt wonderful to get out of the house and away from "civilization" for a few hours and we promised ourselves we'd do it again soon. We'll see if we manage to keep that promise.