Beauty and Wonder in Silver Falls, Oregon

I’m not what you’d call a real nature lover. My lifelong allergies to all manner of pollen and plant life have instilled in me an attitude of indifference towards your average photosynthesizing soil sucker. While I may never learn to love the experience of roughing it amongst the moss and slugs, places like Silver Falls State Park in Silverton, Oregon overwhelm visitors with visual delight and subsequent inspiration.

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The waterfalls are spectacular to behold and often massive in scope. You hear them long before they emerge in sight along the trail.

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Walking behind the waterfall is a treat, not solely for the unique perspective it offers but also for the often breathtaking view of a vibrant landscape invigorated by the constant barrage of H2O.

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Smaller aesthetic goodies await those who look around them during the hike. The unique shapes of twisted and gangly tree trunks, perhaps formed around their fallen brethren decades or centuries ago, provide plenty of fuel for the imagination. There is never an advertisement or billboard within eyeshot, no branding these discoveries; they belong to everyone and no one.

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Occasionally a trail will offer the chance to stand near the base of a fall. In these instances you may feel overwhelmed by your own diminutive stature, but the sensation is oddly liberating.

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While I cannot claim to have completely retreated from civilization (our cabin had heating and linen service, not unlike those enjoyed by the late “Grizzly” Adams), I would recommend the excursion to all interested parties. The imagery you absorb and, more importantly, the bonds you form with your fellow travelers will more than make up for your drive.

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