Leaving the Southern Oregon Coast, we headed inland in hopes to visit the Umpqua Hot
Spring. Wildfire was raging everywhere in Oregon and as we approached, the smoke was getting denser and we could see the blazing fire among the trees not far from us. With only 15 minutes away from the hot spring, we were stopped by a “road closed” sign. 😦 So we just had to turn around and change plans.
We decided to go to Salem as it is in the path of totality. We would find something to do there and also a good place to watch the eclipse.
Silver Falls State Park
We found an easy trail called Trail of Ten Falls in Silver Falls state park that is only 45 minutes from Salem. So were there really ten of them? We lost count after a while and they all look about the same to us. Don’t get me wrong. We enjoyed this leisure hike very much and the waterfalls are all pretty awesome. Coming from California where I am used to the summer dry waterfall, I was very pleased to see the lush greenery, mossy tree trunks and flowing waterfalls. The Pacific North West is indeed pretty different and I like it!
It is nice that you can walk behind some of the waterfalls and feel the mist as water rushes down the falls. We went down to a few waterfalls to eat snacks and put pause on the hiking to enjoy nature. Trail was overall pretty easy, and there were many viewpoints of waterfalls along the way, so I did not feel bored at all. I could see that the colorful autumn leaves or winter whiteness make this a very beautiful place.
Total Solar Eclipse
We found a local school park to make dinner the night before the eclipse. Our plan was to do a morning hike nearby to a mountain top to watch the eclipse, then plan changed again! We were talking to another camper van who came from Seattle and found out that the school was opening up the park to the neighborhood to watch eclipse in the morning. They even provided water and porta-potty for people! We already had a prime parking spot, so why not stay over night? It turned out to be the best decision ever! We casually woke up the next morning, walked to the school field, and joined everyone else who came out and watched the eclipse. We felt like a local!
It was the coolest experience ever! It’s hard to put it in words, but if you have experienced a total eclipse, you would not want to see a partial eclipse ever again! It’s just that amazing. It felt like God has dimmed the light for two minutes, the air got a little cooler, and I took off the eclipse glasses and looked straight to the sun that was blocked by the moon.
Tamolitch Blue Pool
As we headed inland toward Central Oregon and passed through all the forestry, we found this unique place. It was only Monday and the parking lot was surprisingly full that we had to park outside. Is this pool really as blue as they say? At the trailhead, a sign is warning people that the pool is constantly at 37F/2.8C and the body could go into shock and hyperventilate.
It was a rocky two-mile hike to the pool along a river. Wildfires were still burning up the nearby areas, so we could see and smell the smoke around us. The sky looked hazy above us and the sun is orange. The weather was hot, so the thought of dipping my feet into the cold blue water was exciting.
We knew we had arrived when we saw the BLUE water in our eyes. It was very interesting. We had been hiking along a river and the end of it was the blue pool. So where is the water coming from? When we got down to the pool, we saw a constant stream of water flowing out of the rocks and filling the pool. As the pool fills up, water flows down to the river. I dipped my feet into the water and it was FREEZING! Of course Min would jumped into the pool while I worried that he would go into shock. The blue water is also an indication that the water is very clean and probably had been filtered through the rocks. You could almost see through the water to the bottom of the pool.
Aug 19-21 2017