Sunday morning: I had this silly notion that we could somehow trace our river up to where it starts … haha. I was thinking we could get somewhere that was significantly colder or something. Not sure what I really thought we would find, but we tried!
I think we left by 2:00. I plotted a route on Google maps that I thought would get us at least somewhere interesting. We followed the back roads heading south-ish, winding through lush farmland. We caught glimpses of Mt. Hood’s snowy peak. Suddenly, we encountered a locked gate. Hmmm. Did I misread the map? Nope. We tried a different road. Another dead end! We were totally baffled, but the GPS feature on Phil’s iPhone proved that we were where we thought we were – but Google maps just didn’t know it was a restricted road. (It was a road through a National Forest, and there were some signs indicating a water treatment facility.)
So, we had to find somewhere else to go. Good news! We weren’t actually on Sandy River anymore – so we found a different route, and we headed towards a point on Google maps called Big Sandy River Dam Road. The road climbed up, and the scenery was breathtaking. Zoe took a nap … However, we couldn’t find the Dam Road! … after consulting the iPhone again, we turned around to search for the road that we had obviously missed. (sure would be nice if the Google maps on my iPad had a GPS feature!) The road was about 5-10 minutes back, and it was a Gravel Road with no signs. We knew we were in the right place, thanks to the iPhone. I should have taken a picture of the sign at the entrance – it was a little foreboding, but it did say that it was BLM land, so we followed the bumpy road. We passed several spots where cars were parked – but even though we could hear the river from those spots, they looked more like serious hikes, which we were NOT prepared for.
Amusing comment: I watched “127 Hours” the night before. And we didn’t tell anyone where we were going … maybe not smart!
We kept going until we reached the End. We could hear the river. There was a gate, and beyond it was a utility road. Molly and I walked down a bit, and the river sound got closer, so we decided to go for it. We packed a bag with some water, water shoes, and my camera and set off. We met up with 3 guys and a sweet pit bull, who were returning from a day obviously spent fishing. Just to be safe, I asked them if we would get to the water. They laughed and said yes.
After a short hike, we reached our goal. A million rocks sat between us and a moderately-fast-paced river. Zoe, having just woke up, fussed about walking over them, but we finally reached the water.
It wasn’t as cold as it looked. It was Green. We put on our water shoes and waded up to our calves. No way were we letting the kids walk into the current. We played a while. The kids threw rocks in the river. They made little rainbows with the splashes. Phil threw giant boulders onto smaller rocks – causing shrapnel to rain down – to see what the rocks looked like inside. (We think they are volcanic rocks.) More rocks were thrown into the water.
We eventually had enough fun and walked back to the car …
… and drove home …
… with rocks.
What is it about rocks that make it impossible to resist the urge to collect them? especially for kids …
… oh, and Annie tried to collect wheat. We aren’t sure if it is actually wheat, but when I told her that wheat is where flour comes from, she decided that she would collect wheat, pound them into flour, and make us a wonderful bread for a snack. We shall see. 🙂