Ponytail, Pacific and Prancing

Ponytail FallsI am not a hiker. I have never been a hiker. In fact, I've hated it ever since I was forced to go to Girls Camp every summer. But now I think I'm ready to become a fan of hiking. Oregon is full of great hiking areas so Lauren and I planned to go on a hike today. Her brother told us to check out Ponytail Falls. He said it was an easy hike and we could go in the water.

We started out an hour late (as usual) and headed to the Historic Columbia River Trail, about 45 minutes away. We had flimsy directions from Google Maps (Ponytail Falls doesn't exactly have an exact address) and we had both just briefly skimmed the trail book her Dad gave us. In all honesty, neither of us knew where this place was. Great hiking skills, right? We got to the general vicinity and just drove around aimlessly, not sure of where to go. Eventually we found a parking lot and a big sign that said, "Horsetail Falls." It kinda sounded familiar so we decided to park and check things out. Well Horsetail Falls was right there, along the highway, across from The Dalles River. So pretty.

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The Dalles River

We have a good feeling that we were in the right place so we started on the trail next to Horsetail Falls. We had Chip with us. He LOVES being outdoors. After all, he's a Jack Russ and they're hunting dogs, so he was so excited to explore everything in sight.

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The entire trail was uphill. There would be no need for the stairclimber today. It was also very rocky, which worried me because I wore my running shoes. They are fairly new so I hope I didn't wreck them.

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We took our time, there was no need to rush. Along the way we stopped and took photos and met some nice people who told us that we were indeed heading to Ponytail Falls. There was also decent signage and before we knew it, we were 0.2 miles away. Although it was uphill and rocky, it really was an easy hike. I'd forgotten my Garmin at home, so I didn't know the exact distance, but I would guess that it was about a mile and a half in.

One of people we met along the way told us that if we continued on for another mile, we'd hit Triple Falls, so we decided, "why not?" Along the way we came across this bridge and another waterfall that we didn't know the name of.

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Then we came across this sign:

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Not wanting to take a chance with Chippy (if anything happened to him, we'd both be dead meat) we decided to just turnaround and head back. On the way out we stopped at Ponytail Falls again and ate our lunch there. It was so serene, I wish we could have stayed all day. We had wanted to jump in the water, but decided to wait till back to Horsetail Falls since it was closer to the car.

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By the time we got to to the end of the trail and back to Horsetail Falls, there were other people there. But I had dared Lauren to jump in the water anyway, which of course, she fully accepted. But just as she was about to jump in, this lady with a Labrador came by and proceeded to throw a stick in the water so her dog to jump in and swim to get it. This made Chip go crazy - I mean CRAZY. And the lady kept doing it over and over again. And not only did she keep doing it, she would throw the stick by Chip so her dog would have to come by him. I was so angry. When the whole fracas was over, Lauren did try to go in the water but the water freezing -- way too cold to go in. But at least she tried!

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Pacific After the hike, we came back and went to her brother's football game. It was the first time I got to see him play football! I was very excited. He played offense and special teams and scored touchdown on a 50+ yard run!

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The only bummer was that it was blazing hot. I am not a fan of heat and humidity. I wish Summer would just go away so we could have cool Fall weather. Here's how we watch football in the sun:

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"I Prance..." As you've read, I'm spending this entire week with my cousin Lauren. I love to spoil her - there's something about her that tugs at your heart and just makes you want to protect her. She is also full of one-liners. Today alone she said:

* While hiking today: "You know, if someone wanted to murder someone, this is would be the perfect place to do it." Ummm, thanks, just what I needed to hear while we're out here all alone!

* Trading off on carrying our backpack: "Hey this would be great to wear on a hiking date! It really gives you great cleavage!"

And one of her all-time best:

* "So the Vietnam War...between North and South Korea, right?" (To her credit, as soon as the words came out of her mouth, she knew how that sounded.)

But don't be fooled - she's also strong and tough as nails. I think I mentioned earlier that she runs collegiate track. She's taken me to the track to workout with her before and she seriously kicks ass. While I'm going all out, sprinting as fast as I can, she's easily gliding along, not even breaking a sweat.

So tonight when we were talking about running, her dad said, "Lauren, you run like a deer." And she responds by saying, "No I don't, I prance..." See why I love her?!

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Tomorrow we're using our free weeks pass at 24-Hour Fitness to go to the "24-Lift" class:

One of our most popular classes, this highly efficient, full-body 24 Hour Fitness signature workout utilizes barbells and hand weights to strengthen and sculpt all muscle groups.

I can't wait!