Our recent trip down Oregon’s Illinois River was excellent. But it did reveal some flagging of the old rafting muscles, as it’s been nearly two years since our last go with the flow. So between paddling (not optional on the Illinois), sinew clenching plunges into dang cold (50°F (10°C)) water, pushing and pulling of rafts off rocks, and helping a little with hauling gear, we were a tad sore. We got home and (being tough & stupid) immediately got on with a yard project that’s been next week for a year now. Magnificently heavy mountains of dirt, grass, bark, and pavers got heaved hither and yon over hills and dales of our own making. We were just two pavers short of having recreated the Great Pyramid of Giza when the project was finally finished. I say “finally” secure in the knowledge that such projects never actually finish until the house is sold or burns down during a project involving blow torches.

By yesterday evening, every muscle not related to hiking was a wreck. The temptation to lie on the couch and moan softly was strong – but our sofa is now Sofie’s (our cat) designated (by her) day napping area and she dislikes (at the atomic hairball level) sharing. So off we went to the Jacksonville Forest to use our still functioning hiking muscles to see the mid-Spring floral displays of Wake-Robins (Trilliums) and other wildflowers. From parking area 3, we went up the Jackson Creek Nature Trail, over Jackson Ridge on the Sofie’s and Legburner Trails, and back to P-3 on the Shade Creek and Canyon Falls Trails.

Up the Jackson Creek Nature Trail
Milkmaids with guest
Few-Flowered False Solomon’s Seal
Red Henbit
Miner’s Lettuce
Hooker Fairybell (?)
Western Wake-Robin (Trillium)
Henderson Fawn Lily
Oregon Grape in senescence
Calypso Orchid
The remains of Shade Creek
Mountain Strawberry
Enroute to compost
Returning down the Shade Creek Trail

After just 3.7 miles (5.9 km) and 1,020 feet (311 m) of gain, all of our muscles were now twanging. We returned home, moved Sofie to her alternative napping area (aka the floor), and sank into blissful repose on the couch. 🙂 Although it does give off a nice glow, we’ll deal with the resulting atomic hairball later… 🙄

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