16 mile Storey Burn & University Falls Loops:
Dogs exploring a random waterfall/creek run-off crossing the trail
Sunbeams through the woods on a beautiful section of trail
An open view of the forest & hills in the distance
Crossing under the highway overpass
A change in the terrain and creek run-off
Crossing the Tillamook River
The dogs & I at University Falls
Pictures of the maps to help guide me
The Storey Burn Loop was a trail outing I had been wanting to cover for a month or two and finally was able to arrange time to conquer toward the end of February. I felt good toward the end of the loop, so I decided to cover more mileage and tack on the University Falls Loop I had done before. I hadn't been able to sleep much the last few days prior to this so I felt like pushing myself to exertion would encourage my body to sleep (plus I also wanted to see if I would feasibly be able to make the 30 mile hike the next weekend). The Storey Burn Trail was absolutely gorgeous this time of year and University Falls was even more swollen than usual. Although not as picturesque as the Gorge, the Storey Burn trail would be a great one to take out of town visitors on.
After the hike, I decided to change clothes and since we were 35 minutes from the beach and my heart had been craving my home environment for weeks, I decided to drive the dogs and I over for sunset and a bit of a beach stroll. Sometimes I just crave an extra dose of spontaneity and its nice to indulge it as well. Luckily I was able to raise my body core back up (which tends to be a problem post work-out and leaves my extremities white and numb thanks to Raynaud's! :)), I looked up the closest beach access, found a tiny market deli where I could purchase some calories (chicken salad sandwich and a PBR!), and navigated the dogs and I onto the sand. My legs were still in tact to manage a bit of a stroll down the beach, so I scarfed down the sandwich and let the dogs roam as we strolled, before settling in on a log to take it the amazing views before me:
Seriously an amazingly fulfilling day!
Twin Lakes Snowshoe Loop
Not to be outdone by the day before, I decided to head up to the mountain on Sunday to get some snowshoe mileage in. I still hadn't slept well but after stretching out my calves, my legs felt good enough to get in another outing. We'd finally been having some good snow and the day was to be sunny as well. This trail is one I have done many times before but the other trail heads I tried were incredibly full and always make me nervous as to how many dogs I'm going to have to navigate Roxi by :)
The day was seriously beautiful, the dogs couldn't believe their good fortune at trail, sand, and snow all in one weekend, and the snow was set enough that I actually only put my snowshoes on once I hit the powder on the backside of upper Twin Lake (about 3-4 miles in).
Lower Twin Lake
Upper Twin Lake w Mt Hood peaking
Drenched from the snow melt crashing from the trees above trail and knee deep in snow in stretches of the back side :)
Seriously an amazing weekend full of Oregon outdoor beauty and adventure, happy outdoor smiles, and finally sleeping like a baby on Sunday!