adventure

Koosah Falls

While out west, I wanted to go on a hike with big trees and hopefully catch a water fall along the the trail. The choice was Koosah Falls just a little east of Eugene, Oregon.

The drive was a bit boring but the water running along the road was a spectacular view. The view just went on for miles and miles. There was a small stretch where it seemed many were building small cottages on the bank. However the size may have been small in footprint but the cost was probably very high based on the extravagant designs. Nonetheless the road trip was full of things to observe.

Once we arrived at the trail we headed up the right side to the falls. The cool breeze was amazing as the weather showed up at 102 degrees. With the tree coverage from the tall pines and the chilly mist off the water the right side trail was the perfect start to our hike.

As we trekked up the hillside there were many photo ops. The scenery was just so beautiful but even the photos don’t do the landscape justice. The blue water was such a vibrant blue in spots. We caught a few rainbows in the mist of the falls. The water was crystal clear in the pool areas. It was almost like Christmas in July as the whole woods smelled amazing. Pine trees everywhere left the scent of Christmas in the air. It was absolutely divine.

If you look close to the photo above you will see the hint of the rainbow. Again the picture doesn’t do the actual lived experience justice. After making the climb up the right we continued north a bit and crossed a bridge to go down the opposite side.

The descent was a slightly different experience. It was a lot warmer on this side. More sunshine beating down on you and less mist coming your way. Good thing I was going down. However the photos from this side yielded different views and I’m so glad I made the loop trek.

After we finished the trail down we ended up in the pool that feeds the reservoir. Another bridge and a short climb to reach the end of the loop. This path allowed us to see a few fishing in the lower area with less rapids as well as some large log dam areas caused by downed trees. The overall hike was one of my favorites to date. A gradual incline. Not too strenuous but had so many rewards along the way. As I close out I will share a few more photos for you to enjoy.

Oregon is a great place to opt outside. Just read some of my Oregon blog series and you will soon see why.

author moments

In the Dark

It was pitch black. Nothing to see around you. The darkness of the early morning hours was compliments of blackout curtains. The room was quiet. Not a creature was stirring.

Then out of nowhere.

It happened.

The significant sound erupted.

Ah-choo! For the sneaky sneeze that snuck up on her. The bark of a cough that almost spun off the sneeze in harmony and then the more foul sound of….

A cross between a loud fart and and a shriek of a sound created when she realized she did that in the quiet room where sounds seem to echo without hesitation.

Tears of laughter begin. Oh the humility. She was beside herself. The sneeze. The cough. The fart. All sounds together. At once. She had to face the others in the room. Tears of laughter. Tears of humility. They continue for some time. What may have been nothing became something. Because she couldn’t contain herself. 

How does one explain the bodily function of a cough plus a fart plus a sneeze? Snartough is the name I made up. She snarttoughed this morning causing havoc in the quiet room. Was this a first? Will it happen again? How would you handle a situation like this?

There were no lingering smells. There were no upset faces. It happened so fast. It was just a few crazy moments in time. Three bodily functions that may never raise an eyebrow in isolation but together they caused chaos and embarrassment.

Just a random post to capture a real life experience of recent days. 

adventure

Sand For Days

As part of my coastal Oregon series, this particular writing is dedicated to the amazing experience I had on the Oregon Sand Dunes. So much fun that I had to write about it in just one post. All by itself.

I really didn’t know what to expect. I really didn’t visualize the beauty of the dunes or the depth of how far the dunes stretched. I did however catch a glimpse of the dunes roadside where there was an enormous hill of sand with a four wheeler going down it. I silently thought to myself no way. That is way too high for me.

We were lucky to get on the ATV tour as that was the best way to see the shore and the dunes in what I called the safest option for our trio to navigate the dunes as first timers. 30-40 mph on the climbs and the descents were so fast I didn’t even check the speedometer. 26 miles we rode round trip. Nobody flipped. Nobody got stuck. It was a success. This Bay Bridge photo is hard to capture in a photo meaning the in person view seems 1,000 times nicer. 

So much beauty. Such a thrill ride. One of travel buddies said this is definitely a top 10 experience. I would have to agree. I will definitely find my way back to this coast to tackle the dunes again. Not sure when but I will make time for sure.

We had a great guide and we even did some bowl rides at the end. It is hard to explain but you ride the dunes sideways up and down like you were in a bowl. You have to hit the right speed and maintain or your could roll! Just an exhilarating experience. This is also very different from the straight up climb to the straight down descent where you actually can’t see what is ahead of you when you then begin this descent.

This adventure covers the dunes and plenty of play time riding. From the natural bumps or jumps on the main road trail to the coolness of passers by. Everyone added flair to their personal rides with cool flags, political flags, neon lights, and so on.  Our adventure also covered the trip to the ocean to ride along the water. This was another breathtaking sight to see. The large ocean waves were just feet away pounding the shore while you zipped by. There was a fog in the air making the visibility low but the air was cool and crisp off the water. 

This adventure comes with a few $$$ on the review but if you take into account gas prices, the equipment used on the terrain and the guide it is well worth it. The family that owned our rental company was super focused on customer service which I also appreciated.

Can’t wait to come back to this coast and hit more spots along the way. Such a beautiful place to spend some time off the grid.

adventure, fitness and nutrition

The Pinellas Trail

It was a sizzling hot summer day in late July. 2 Chicks hit the road on the Pinellas trail in Dunedin, Florida. We hit the pavement by bike. A mode of transportation we enjoy. Today was a good fit and fun adventure.

18 miles were ridden. We might have walked a little funny when done but it was worth it. Recently I wrote about the backside of life on a train ride. Today I again saw the backside of life, but this time a little differently. What I mean is the back of buildings are visible from the trail since its original use was for rail hence the reason it’s called a rail trail. Fast forward to today and the backsides of the buildings are purposeful and used vs left to decay and look like an eye sore.

Keeping with this topic many sections of the towns have eateries or stores that back up to the rail trail. However this view is more aesthetically appealing or inviting. Stores had welcoming signage. Restaurants had patios on the backside. Ice cream shops had spots for pets. Many establishments had bike pumps for courtesy use. Some had sitting areas for those who needed a break. Many offered free water which was so nice on the super sunshiny day we rode.

The backside of life can look different depending how you view it. My perspective here was welcoming and one I will remember. My previous train ride was a little different view of neglect of those backsides many overlook. I often see opportunity in weird places. Some could post fun messages or kind words or advertise on the backside of old buildings for passers by instead of just leaving them to sit idle. Maybe it’s my always on business brain. Maybe it’s my desire for others to see what’s in plain sight or what could be endless possibilities. Clearly I can’t change the world but I can dream of how it could look better or be more useful.

Circling back to now, one of my favorite spots on the trails were the roadway crossings. Some busier than others. Some had stop signs for bikers while others had stop signs for cars. However on the main drags we had red lights and the little bike lights made me smile. I wish every city had a safe pathway like this to enjoy. Many would probably choose to bike to work some days.

Another tiring but beautiful experience was the opportunity to make the climb up a bridge, enjoy a photo at the top and the amazing views and then having the satisfaction of feeling the wind in your face on the way down the decline of the bridge. So many other fascinating tidbits I could share, but I would rather suggest you take a trip to experience this ride for yourself.

Opt outside. Be adventurous. This day was $30 to rent the bike all day. I was able to close my exercise ring for the day. I saw some beautiful street art, great trees, a few parks, and the water was a great backdrop along the way. $30 for a day of memories. 

health

All That Blood

1 hour into vacation. 1 hour.

The teen calls and said we have an emergency. Me: what kind of emergency? Teen: so much blood, come now.

200 feet seemed like 200 miles in the moment. This trail of blood seemed like nothing compared to the flow of blood leading to the injured party. Was it a shark bite? So many things ran through my mind.

First aid began with attempting to stop the blood until we could get out of the sand and germy water. That in itself was a challenge lugging someone with a bloody foot. I didn’t really pay attention at the time but no bystander offered help which now that I think about it seems absurd.

The infamous bloody foot. Eight stitches later. A lot pain and suffering while the cleaning and stitching was done at the local emergency room. So much pride left on that beach for the young invisible teen. Along with the loss of pride was much regret. I could see it in his eyes. Disappointment for the vacation that was yet to be had.

This experience made me think I was happy to have my first aid kit on hand not thinking I would ever need it. After the wound was handled, I definitely went ahead and replenished and added a few more triage items to be sure I’m ready for any future injuries. I would never want to be unprepared for a shark attack at a beach.

Since this accident took place one hour into vacation that meant I had to work hard to keep the wound clean and on its path to healing while beachside. That is no easy task with an active teen. 

Was a lesson learned? Yes. Was I thankful for the outcome? Yes. Did I need to make a dreaded phone call to the parent of the teen I was responsible for? Yes. This is the call nobody would ever want to make. However, the calm voice on the other end of the phone was kind and genuine. No anger. No judgment. Just gratitude for being there to support the injured. What a relief.

What a relief for me. Another day will pass. Count every blessing and every experience you have, but never lose sight of danger that can be feet away. Always have your antennas up and ready to lunge into emergency action whether you need help or another nearby.

If you don’t know basic first aid, take a course. I have had to sling broken bones, now handle a gash and worst of all had to administer CPR. All on kids. Not fun, but humbling.

Be safe and enjoy my bloody story. The ocean can be safe but also dangerous. Always watch your feet for objects like broken glass, fishing hooks, and of course sea life.