June 25-27, 2011 - Silverton, OR

We left Ft. Stevens State Park Saturday morning and headed southeast over the Coast Range to Silverton, OR where we are staying at the Silver Spur RV Park.  The sun was shining when we got here so we opened up all the windows to get the 5th wheel dried out.  We really liked the coast but are ready for some dryer and warmer weather.

Sunday morning the park had a breakfast for its guests – pancakes with strawberries and bacon.  It is strawberry season here and the breakfast was great.  We spent the morning relaxing and after lunch went to The Oregon Garden.  The Oregon Association of Nurseries developed this botanical garden in the late 1990’s.  There are more than 20 specialty gardens, a visitor center, café and gift shop.  We spent the afternoon walking around and enjoying the different gardens.  This is the Pet Garden where they have information on how to make your yard and garden pet friendly.

The water garden has its own Loch Ness Monster.

This iris is the most unusual color we have ever seen.

We enjoyed the Children’s Garden the most.  They had a Hobbit house – Bilbo Baggins would have felt at home here.

We couldn’t resist this flower bed (and bath).

Mr. and Mrs. Pot and Pot, Jr. welcomed everyone to the garden.

The Children’s Garden also had a garden train, a tree house and a dinosaur dig.  We enjoyed our relaxing afternoon touring the beautiful gardens.

Outside of Silverton we found the Gallon House Bridge.  This 84 ft bridge was built in 1916 and during Prohibition the bridge earned its name as the place to get a gallon of illegal moonshine.

We didn’t find any moonshine, but next to the bridge was this field of hops – we had never seen hops growing before and thought it was unusual.  The poles holding the wires were at least 14 ft high.

The agriculture in the Willamette Valley is very diverse.  We have seen hops, barley, onions, vineyards, orchards and all kinds of berries.  There are also a lot of christmas tree farms and nursery stock farms in this area.  We stopped at a fruit stand on the way back to the campground and bought some fresh picked strawberries and cherries.  There is nothing better than fresh picked fruit!

Monday we went hiking in Silver Falls State Park which is about 15 miles south from our campground.  This is a beautiful state park covering more than 9,000 acres of temperate rainforest.  The most popular attraction in the park is The Trail of Ten Falls - an 8.7-mile hiking trail that passes by and under 10 beautiful waterfalls.  We hiked almost the entire trail and saw all 10 waterfalls.  The first waterfall we hiked to was Winter Falls, a beautiful 134 ft. fall.

Then on to Middle North Falls, another spectacular waterfall that falls 106 ft.

The combined drop of Double Falls is 178 ft making this the largest in the park.  Don’t miss the small fall at the top right of the picture.

The trail goes behind the 177 ft. South Falls – we got wet hiking under this one.

We had to climb down 185 steps to the Lower South Falls and then the trail went behind the 93 ft curtain of water.

North Falls is another waterfall we hiked behind.  The trail drops down 77 steps and goes beneath the creek and behind the waterfall through a cavernous cutout of the rock.  The cutout was so large that we stayed dry behind this beautiful waterfall.

The last waterfall we hiked to was Upper North Falls – a 65 ft fall that plunges into a quiet pool.

We also hiked to Drake Falls, Lower North Falls and Twin Falls; though smaller than the other falls they were still beautiful.  We saw a lot of wildflowers blooming like these beautiful Wild Iris.

We had a great day hiking in this beautiful park and were very tired by the end of our hike.  Our knees are really feeling all the ups and downs to the different waterfalls.  We decided that we had earned a trip to Dairy Queen in Silverton on the way back to the campground.


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