Saturday, March 14, 2015

Shevlin Loop Trail

So far, most of my forays into Shevlin park have been along the center--there's a road and a trail that both parallel the creek that runs through the middle.  I did skirt the western edge of the park the day I was geocaching there, but for the most part, I've stuck to the middle.  There's a loop trail that goes around the perimeter of the park (though still parallelling the creek, up and back, just further away from it) for six miles.

Totally worth it.

This trail was so pretty.  Especially for the dry side.

Oh, but first I've got to tell you how my hike/run/whatever started out.  I left the car, went through a little aspen grove, and then just before I was about to cross the creek, I saw two LITTLE kids wandering.  They were very small, probably 1 and 3.  They did not appear to have an adult with them, and they were headed toward the creek.  As they approached me, I said hi and asked if their mom or dad was around.  The older boy said that his mom was over there, and gestured upstream.  I headed that direction while still keeping the kids in my sight and didn't see anyone.  I headed further away from the creek so I could keep the kids in my sights while widening my search for the adult(s).  I saw a lady go into the restrooms, rather far away, and hollered to ask if she was with some kids, but she didn't answer.  Hmm....the kids had crossed the bridge by now, and I wasn't fully able to keep them in my sights while still looking for their grownups.  Finally, I spotted a couple of women sitting by the river, not paying a whole lot of attention to the kids.  In fact, there was a third kid, equally small, directly across the creek from them, which is apparently why the other two kids were going where they were going.

I'm all for "free-range kids," and not being a helicopter parent, but it really doesn't seem like a good idea to let kids that small wander near a small but fast-moving creek that could easily sweep them away and is full of logs they could easily get pinned under.  Right?  Well, now that the kids were all in sight of a couple of adults, I headed out on my hike.  It took me uphill, so I still had a view of the kids and parents for a while, and at one point, one of the women said she needed to go to the bathroom.  I didn't see the other one anywhere around, so I was worried she was going to head off to the restrooms without taking the kids along, but no, she dropped her pants right there in view of the trail I was on as well as the well-traveled trail RIGHT BEHIND HER.  In fact, just as she pulled her pants down, someone passed right behind her.  Probably not what THAT lady had in mind when picking a scenic place for today's exercise.

So anyway, that was interesting.  But then I focused on the trail.  And it was awesome.  Can you believe the scenery in just the first 2.5 miles of trail?

Not pictured (dim lighting, blurry photos) is the really cool canyon with a much smaller creek that you go down into then back up out of shortly before reaching the bridge above.  It's got HUGE boulders (unusual for Central Oregon, where all our rock is volcanic and usually still attached to the ground from whence it came) and a cute little log bridge over the creek.

The rest of the trail was less scenic, though there was a cool spot where you could look over the side of a hill down at the covered bridge, and in the other direction there was a man-made canyon/gully that a railroad used to go through.  But again, waning light, cell phone photos didn't come out.  Oh well.  :-)  I think in the future, I'll go up the same trail to the bridge above, then take the creek-side trail back--it's more steadily downhill (hardly any uphill at all, and the downhill is all smoothly gradual with no steep spots), and more scenic to boot.

I walked/ran about 6 miles.  Mostly walked, since quite a bit of the downhills were too steep to really run down, hence the different plan for next time.  :-)

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