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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Murphy Falls

I like hiking and walking in the woods. I don't do it nearly often enough because although Washington has awesome hiking locations, it's only spring and summer about 4 months out of the year - so a very short window. That and it rains a lot. And I'm lazy lol. But David loves being out in the woods, so now I have somebody that I can go with.

I like the tough terrain. Although I'd be happy with walking well maintained trails, I find some kind of satisfaction from walking on trails that are much more difficult. I'm happy trekking through the woods, although the salal around here is a bitch to get through. But I've been forcing my own path through the forest for years.

Frack this shit covers everything. There's no such
thing as a "forest floor" around here.

Yesterday I took a PTO day because I could. I don't have anybody to cover for me while I'm out, so taking a day where I don't come back to a ton of work is a rare thing. Since David has Mondays off, we decided to hang out for a while. He needed some open air, and he'd told me about this place called Murphy Falls, on the way to a small town called Elbe. Murphy Falls does not have a well-maintained trail(s). In fact, I think the only reason there even was a trail is not because a forest service came by and made one, but because of deer and people walking to the Falls lol

Anyway, walking the trail down to the Falls was not too difficult, but I am afraid of slipping and falling on steep terrain, which this had a lot of. Also mud. Lots of nasty mud. I also had to walk across a train bridge (luckily abandoned tracks!) with the river rushing below me, which I could see through the slats. That was not an easy thing. I have a... healthy fear of heights lol. David helped me with a lot of the nastier bits of the "trail", which I was very appreciative of. Once we got to the Falls, the views were spectacular. 

When we went all the way down to the river, we kind of lost the "trail" lol. We just walked alongside the river for a while; the rocks surrounding the water were conveniently covered in a moss to make them safe to walk on. We went over fallen trees, walked across beaver dams (or he thinks they were man made.) and onto an actual old dam no longer in use. We walked until we kind of reached the end, where we were going to have to go back up in order to move on. We had three choices - go back the way we'd come and try to scout out a way back up, trek forward and see if there was some kind of semblance of a trail, or just go up the embankment. He knew where we were, and knew that was our way back to the car. I was in favor of going straight up. At this point, we'd be trekking through some pretty tough terrain for about an hour, and believe it or not, it was quite an exhilarating feeling, even though my legs were so tired they were shaking and I actually feared them collapsing at a very bad moment. David was perfectly fine climbing the embankment (I'd say it was at least 50 degrees. Not straight up, but enough to need roots and plants to hold onto) as he often goes places where he needs to make his own trails. It also looked to be at least 100 feet to the top, so quite a ways. Plus the ground was still slick from a recent rain. We took it slow and we did all right. I was afraid of falling backwards even though I was basically using my hands to help me up the whole way. 

This was looking down from about half way up the embankment

We reached the top and I just about collapsed. I had to stay on my knees for a moment! But I was smiling. I felt accomplished and as hard as it was, I was thinking *Achievement Unlocked* (a gaming reference for those of you unsure). We were now back on the road that would lead us to the train tracks and eventually, my car. My legs were shaking so badly at this point that I needed David to steady me as we walked across the tracks lol I didn't trust myself enough to not have my foot slip between the slats this time. We made it back in good time. My CardioTrainer was running on my phone the whole time, and it says we were out for a little over an hour and 30 minutes. It says I burned 900 calories, but it also assumed we walked over 6 miles, which wasn't the case because the map it shows of our walk is pretty messed up lol. But I would say we did about 4 miles, and I might have burned at least 600 calories. 

The entire walk was amazing. We got to see nature that not a lot of other people get to see. I saw myself in the mirror this morning and noticed that I looked invigorated. As hard of a hike as that was, it was too incredible to pass up. I'm so glad David showed it to me, and I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

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