Sunday, June 5, 2016

Moderately Challenging Hike to Lower Soda Falls in Cascadia, Oregon on Hwy 20

Lower Soda Falls

We've done this hike twice before, but we needed a short hike that we could do on the way to Albany. We like to redo hikes periodically to see how much improvement we've had. The first two times we did this hike were quite challenging for us. It's only 3/4 of a mile, but according to my map, it's more than 400 feet in elevation over that 3/4 of a mile. My GPS watch actually showed it as just over a half mile too so that's a shorter distance to cover that same elevation which means.........this thing is pretty steep at times.

The trailhead for this hike is in the Cascade Park in Cascadia, Oregon. There's a vault toilet here and a campground. 

The hike starts off level for a minutes and then you climb uphill. It gets steep in parts, but is flattish in parts. If you're in shape, you could probably get up there without stopping to catch your breath. We're overweight, so we stopped a few times, but not nearly as many times as we did the last time we went up. We went pretty early and it was a bit cool. It was still humid beyond believe, but that's the valley so that's what happens. 

We did this one without our poles. We had intended to bring them, but we left them in hubby's car by accident. No worries though. I was sort of glad to go up without them just to compare this trip to the last time we went up. We got up there in about 25 minutes, which was faster than before and we got down in 17 minutes which was about the same as before I think. I wore the backpack this time. I don't remember if I did last time. We didn't end up using anything from it though which was a bit annoying. The more annoying part was that I discovered the camera battery was dead once we got to the trailhead sign and I tried to take a picture. My options were to run back to the car and put us at risk for getting to Albany late or just carry the weight around. I carried the weight around. It's good practice right? 

There wasn't a whole lot to look at during the trip up. It was green mossy trees. There were a couple flowers, but it was a pretty bland walk this time. The trail was soft in spots, slippery in spots and muddy in spots. There was one tree across the path that we had to step over and there was one tree that we had to go under. It's hard going under the trees with my backpack on. 

We got through it. We felt good about it and we'll probably try this hike again next year and see how things go.

Polar M400 Screen Shots 

There's a weird dip in my heart rate before the last big push to go up that hill. Not sure what happened there, but I'm pretty sure my heart rate didn't magically go that low. You can see the times we stopped by checking out either chart. 

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