We met at Starbucks, which worked out nicely to grab a quick morning jolt of caffeine.
We made a potty stop at the Sahalie Falls parking area, and took a few photos there to warm up. The weather was PERFECT for a photo hike...cool, recently rained, and not currently raining. It did sprinkle on us a bit during the day, but just enough to keep us cool but not enough to really get our camera gear or us too wet or uncomfortable.
From there, we headed to the trailhead we were actually intending to hike from.
When I saw some Oregon Grape, I told Nathan they had edible berries, but didn't realize the berries were currently out and he would take me up on it. He ate a BUNCH of them, plus brought some home. Hope he doesn't get sick!
Nathan got in on the action, too.
The trail itself was gorgeous. Easily the second most beautiful trail I've been on (the MOST beautiful was the trail up Mt. Constitution in Moran State Park on Orcas Island in the San Juans).
Nathan got a little silly.
Finally, we got to the destination of our hike, Tamolitch Pool, aka The Blue Hole.
The photos seriously don't do this place justice. It was absolutely gorgeous! I'd had no idea it was even there. If you live in Oregon, you should totally make the drive and the 2-mile (each way) hike to go see it. Especially right now with the fall colors!
This is the McKenzie river, which happens to flow through a lava tube (and/or just seeping through the porous rock), and apparently when the river is SUPER high, will sometimes come out of the rock above the pool and fall into it, but currently is just coming up from underneath the surface, giving the illusion of a pool of water with a substantial river flowing OUT of it, but nothing flowing into it. It doesn't look very deep, because it's so clear, but it's apparently 30-40 feet deep.
On the hike back to the car, we saw this adorable dog, who is apparently NINE, but acted like a puppy. This is his "sit pretty" trick. Notice the giant maple leaf in his collar. :-)
And this is Tom and Hazel, who were kind enough to let Nathan and me ride in their car.
We stopped back by Sahalie Falls on our way home, and this time we took the brief hike to the falls.
In conclusion, here's a combination of 72 separate photos, to try to capture the entire pool (click to embiggen)...
...a video of the pool and surroundings (mute if you don't want to hear Nathan talking and the sound of the rapids)...
...and lastly, a link to my Flickr page to see ALL the photos (62 of them).
I totally recommend this hike...four miles round trip, not strenuous at all, and well worth the views!