Story by

Lanessa Pierce

July 11th, 2017

We are a family on the go. The daily hustle and bustle often finds us wanting connection, and the best way we do that is by getting out to enjoy the beauty of southern Oregon. Always a go-to for us, waterfall hunting in our local area is one of our favorite things to do. Boy, are we lucky! We really can drive just an hour or two and see more than 10 different waterfalls. It's a perfect day trip with the kids. We have a goal to visit all of the waterfalls in southern Oregon by the end of this year, and we are making good headway.

Just this week, we headed over to Lemolo Falls in Douglas County and what an adventure that was! All of the reviews said that there were mosquitoes, but we did not expect the dinosaur-sized critters that attacked us. We heeded the warning and brought plenty of repellant, so it was fine. As we headed out, Ilias and Olivia ran ahead anticipating the hike and the grand viewing of the waterfall.

The hike down was a quick one. As Olivia always does, she made sure to let us know when we could hear the roaring of the waterfall; a sign that we are not too far off. Not half a mile later, we were greeted by the amazingly beautiful sight of Lemolo Falls. We were all overcome with how gorgeous it was. We even talked about how people travel the world to view waterfalls like this and we are lucky enough to have them right here in our own backyard.

It didn't take us much longer to get to the foot of the falls. Our friend's dogs were overcome with joy, galloping around and jumping in the water trying to play in the quick flow. Ilias and Olivia kept asking to play in the water also, but of course we had to explain to them that the current was too fast for them to not get swept away. The thundering falls always reminds us of the strength of nature and the respect that we owe this beautiful place we call home.

Heading back up the trail was a lot harder than the trip down because it was pretty steep. Ilias, ever the avid hiker, sped up to the top with no issues to wait with our friends in the nice, cool air conditioning of their car. Olivia did pretty well until the last quarter of the hike, at which time her five-year-old legs started hurting and she kept saying, "I don't like this hike anymore." We did the usual distraction techniques: singing, playing I spy, snacking, and giving her some water. It worked for a little while until daddy finally gave in and carried her for a short distance. That allowed her to rest up and they raced the last tenth of the mile. As far as I am concerned she is my hero. Not too many kids would tackle this hike as well as she did.

We love that our kids enjoy hiking as much as they do. They have really come to appreciate the need to treat our earth well, and that we always leave any place that we have visited cleaner than when we got there. We always look for any trash that may have been left behind and bring it back with us. We have taken Ilias and Olivia camping and hiking since before they were able to walk, and they have learned that there is no mountain too high, no trail to long, no river or ocean too cold to jump into. Every break they get, they ask to go camping, fishing, and hiking, or whatever other adventure pleases their outdoor-loving fancies. What more can a parent ask for than for their child to want to spend time with them instead of on their tablet or in front of a television? We hope that they carry these adventure memories with them as they grow and mature. We hope they share them with others as they become adults. As the saying goes, "Life is what you make of it." Why not include some adventures and excitement?