Wednesday, February 14, 2018

52 Hike Challenge ~ Hike 9: William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge

Finley Hike @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

We had some beautiful weather last week, but the week itself was rough and we weren’t able to get out and enjoy it.

Multiple appointments (hair cuts, dentist), events (swim team potluck), outings (Russ took Luke to Portland for a sportsman show), two days of swim districts for Levi (the younger kids and I attended one day for 7 hours, Russ officiated both days), a homeschool conference (I spoke for an hour in the morning, but attended all day), another swim meet for Russ (the boys didn’t swim, but Russ had to coach), Levi working, church, CC, and MRSA (yes, a MRSA infection for Leif, which occupied our attention for a couple days). And I wasn’t feeling well for a couple days on top of it all.

But that’s why we hike more than once some weeks. And it’s also why we hike at all. Because we need sanity breaks.

Even when hiking is hard (like herding grasshoppers and snails with bad attitudes), it feeds our souls.

This right here, friends.

Finley Hike 3 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Tuesday was cool (40-45 degrees), but gorgeously sunny. Luke, Leif, Lola, and I drove about 50 minutes to Finley Wildlife Refuge, where we hiked both the Woodpecker Loop and the Mill Hill Loop.

Finley Hike 4 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

The trails were well-marked, but we tried to take a short-cut that ended up being a long-cut. We ended up hiking over 4 miles, and I carried Lola the last little bit because she thought she was going to die.

The terrain was easy. The trails weren’t too muddy.

We had great veiws of the Three Sisters and Mount Jefferson in the distance. At another section of the trail, I think we could see Washington and then Hood as well.

Finley Hike 2 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Many of the trails we hike meander through evergreen forests. I don’t think I’ve ever hiked through an oak forest before, especially in the winter. The shapes of the bare trees were fascinating, and we walked on a thick bed of oak leaves. I would love to return in the summer to observe the difference.

Finely Hike 6 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Blue skies and bare oak. Stunning.

Finley Hike 8 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Signs of spring on the way.

Finley Hike 5 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

More walking.

Finley Hike 7 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

When we returned home, I recieved news that a friend of ours was in his last hours. He passed away this morning. This next picture is for our dear friend Bob, who will be greatly missed. We were blessed to have him join us for the eclipse this past August, and Russ was able to spend several days and nights with him over the past couple months.

Finley Hike 6 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

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