Sunday, February 1, 2015

Hiking at Shevlin Park

Well, I certainly didn't leave the house today with the plan of hiking SEVEN miles, but that's exactly what I ended up doing.

I was actually debating between riding Arya (solo, again) and going geocaching/hiking, and when I realized it was raining, decided on the latter.  I'd be closer to the car, and the car would be closer to home, in case I got cold, plus if I'm going to be cold and wet, at least if I'm hiking, I'll be warmer than riding (with riding, you have to go faster to be exercising enough to stay warm, and faster just makes the wind/rain that much colder).

So I packed some geocaching stuff (a pen, most importantly, but I also brought a headlamp in case I needed to peek in dark corners or happened to stay out too late), some water, and headed out to Shevlin Park, a city park on the outskirts of Bend that's relatively unimproved (i.e. in a natural state, though there are paths and restrooms).  I parked and headed to the nearest geocache, near the creek that flows through the park.  I realized I'd forgotten to get the water out of the car, so headed back there, plus the next few geocaches were on the opposite side of the park, away from the creek.  I had to hike up, up, UP to get to the second one, up some more to get to the third, then the fourth one had a comment from someone about all the elevation gain to get to it, so I kept my high elevation, skirting the edge of the park.  Whoops, turns out the next cache was actually DOWN quite a bit, so I did some butt-scooting so I didn't slip and twist my ankle where no one would find me (though I did have my phone and it did have reception).

I was able to get onto a path at this point, and follow it most of the way to the next cache, which seemed to be just off the trail.  However, the hint was "Under a boulder," and there were a LOT of boulders.  So not helpful.  So I wandered around on all the boulders until lo and behold, there was the cache at eye level as I came up between two rocks.  Woo!

The next couple caches were near the water, so I was able to follow the same path down the side of the hill to the road (closed to vehicles) and river.  I came out right next to a covered bridge (foot traffic only, except service vehicles, I'm sure), which had a cache nearby.  There were some people around, so I had to take some photos while I waited for them to leave.  :-)

I grabbed both the caches that were near the river, and started upriver toward the next one, but realized I ought to go to the bathroom before venturing any further.  The bathroom was back near the car, about 3/4 mile away, but the rest of the caches were only going to take me further into the woods, so back I went.  I wondered to myself whether I'd use being back at the car as an excuse to quit, but assessed myself and said I felt "fit to continue," as they say in endurance, and that I'd make myself get back out there.  So, I went to the bathroom, and indeed hit the trail again.  Got back to the covered bridge and motored on past it another 3/4 mile to the next cache.

Got that one, and another nearby, and I'm not sure if I mentioned them all here, but I got nine caches total--all of them in the park, I'm pretty sure (there were some nearby as the crow flies, but across the creek and up a cliff, so I'm pretty sure you have to access them from elsewhere).  By that point, I'd gone almost exactly five miles, and still had to get back to the car.  I managed to jog quite a few stretches on the way back, since it was pretty much all downhill.

Got back to the car well before dark, tried two restaurants before finally just getting Thai food from a food cart and taking it home.  Endomondo says I burned nearly 4,000 calories, so I ate my fill without guilt, though I did swap the white rice that came with the food for some brown rice I had in my freezer.  While I was on the trails, the only part of me that was sore were my feet, but now that I'm home and sitting down, I can barely move.

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