Silver Falls State Park, not too far from Salem

Once in a while from the moment I wake up I know I'm going to enjoy the day, all of it, no matter what anyone else says or does. Why is this the case? And why is the case sometimes the opposite, that no matter what, the day is unenjoyable from the very beginning and nothing can be done about it?

There are ten waterfalls within Silver Falls State Park. I walked to nine of them yesterday, along with a small pack of family and friends. It hadn't been my idea to go–I'd never heard of Silver Falls State Park, so it couldn't have been my idea–and I am not known for being too keen on going along with other peoples ideas. Furthermore, I woke up in the morning thinking that I wouldn't go, that I didn't really need to see ten waterfalls and that the group would be better off without me.

The end of the story is that I ended up going. Silver Falls State Park is about 20 miles from Salem, the largest state park in the state. It takes some effort to get there, you have to want to go, and I'm glad I did.

We hiked for 8 miles. I saw a bird I've never seen before, some sort of jay with a jaunty little jay crown, a light brown body, and two brilliant chocolate colored slashes on the side of its eyes, like Aboriginal face painting. The jay posed for a moment or two, then flipped me off and skittered away into the brush before I could take a picture. Each waterfall is visually arresting, whether spectacular or modest, and though I only saw nine of them I can recommend them all.

Most of all it was the sound of water that had the most worth. If I had one idea come to me while I walked yesterday it was that the sound of water is the original still small voice, and that this original voice has not been improved upon since the beginning of time. I'm glad I listened for it yesterday morning, and glad that heard what it was saying, otherwise I never would have gone to Silver Falls State Park.

image.jpg