Saturday, February 7, 2015

River Trail

Originally, I was debating between riding my horse (solo--Shar was busy today) or hiking at Smith Rock.  But when Shar told me it was POURING at her house (not far from Smith Rock), and it was sunny here, I decided to stick to Bend.  I thought of going back to Shevlin--it's beautiful.  But figured if I went somewhere else, I might be able to do some geocaching (I got all the caches at Shevlin last weekend).

So I headed to Riverbend Park near the Old Mill District.  I parked near the dog park, to add a little mileage to the hike upriver.  I recalled it was about 1.5 miles from the car bridge to the footbridge, which would make a 3 mile round trip if I parked closer to the trail, and while I didn't necessarily want to duplicate last week's 7 mile hike, I waned to hike more than three miles.

I went through the park, upstream and with the river on my left.  I jogged a couple stretches that were flat or downhill, but focused more on just hiking along.

Is it even fair that we have views like this in our city parks?

I picked up a geocache along the way, then motored right past the next one and didn't realize it until I was far enough past it that I didn't want to turn around and go back.  I made it to the footbridge...more beautiful scenery.

Theoretically, I should have turned an gone back downriver on the other side, but I felt like I could do more miles than that, so I tried to see if there was a way to continue upriver.  On the side I'd started on, it's surrounded by private property, and the parks department secured an easement for the trail, but it ends at the footbridge.  On the other side, there was a bit of a goat trail that headed upriver as well as UP.  It was narrow, but I figured I'd take it a short ways, until it either petered out, felt totally unsafe, or felt like it was going somewhere.

Luckily, just as I was about ready to give up and head back down, it came out on a nice wide gravel road used for accessing this pipeline.  After a minute or so on the road, I came to a sign that said "Not a Public Path," but luckily it didn't say no tresspassing, just that you had to yield to public vehicles servicing the pipeline.  I ended up seeing quite a few other people on it--mostly joggers, since it's nice and wide and smooth.

The road was high above the river, with some cool views.  I stopped for pictures a few times, knowing that I'd be trying to maintain a slightly faster pace on my way back downhill.

After a mile or so more, I came to the end of the pipeline.  I came upon this area in the opposite order of these photos, but I'm putting them into an order that makes more sense here.  There is a bar of rocks in the river--I'm not sure if they were placed there or occurred naturally, but at this point, they serve to divert some of the river.

It goes into this area, where some bars presumably serve to keep large fish out as well as logs and sticks.

Looking upstream, here's where the water goes from that last picture:

 Then finally, it heads into a very scary waterslide:

 That, of course, is the beginning of the pipeline I'd walked beside.  It goes past where I'd come upon it, then some of the water becomes an irrigation canal and the rest rushes downhill into a power plant where some electricity is generated for the city, then is returned to the river just before the park I'd started my hike in.  Here's the area where the water rejoins the river:

But that's getting ahead of things.  After taking those pictures at the top of the pipeline, I started toward a geocache in the area--it took me up a steep hill on the same road, but then it went through a gate and into a residential area, and my search for the geocache would have taken me across some boulders I didn't feel comfortable navigating, especially alone.  Too bad I didn't view the area on the satellite map before going a bit out of my way.  Oh well.

I headed back down the gravel road.  On the steep parts, I kinda sorta jogged, but was mainly trying not to slip and fall.  But then it turned into a gentle downhill slope, and I jogged and jogged.  I took a short walk break, but otherwise jogged for about 3/4 of a mile.  That's a lot for me.  :-)  Then the road went uphill a ways, so I walked.  I jogged a bit more.  Then, since I wasn't sure where the road went, I knew I needed to stay left and get back down the hill to the river trail again.  So I ended up slowing back to a walk to navigate some trails that looks like they're mostly used by mountain bikes, and went down, down, down, back to the river.  Then the trail was up and down and wound between boulders, plus my feet were starting to hurt, so I mostly walked back to the car.

The Endomondo app said 5.98 miles, but I'd paused it at the footbridge and forgot to start it back up when I started walking, so when I viewed the map and compared the gap to the return trip, it was 0.2 miles, so even if the app's a little off, it's safe to say I hiked over 6 miles today--not quite the 7 from last week, but hopefully that means I won't be quite as sore, either!

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