Rogue Rivers and Waterfalls: PCC Offers Hiking Courses

By Charles Claringbold|March 14, 2016Announcements, Southeast, Sylvania|

Gazing at the south side of Mount St. Helens from 1500 feet is one of the best ways to revitalize your mind and body. It’s just a two mile hike up the lush, moss-moistened quilt of a trail above Moulton Falls.

According to John Muir, “Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.”

It’s also one the best ways I could imagine to score a PE credit, and with PE 183 you can do just that.

Rebekah L. Sims has been teaching the hiking course at PCC during the spring and fall terms. However, in 2016 the hiking class was offered for the first time as a winter course. The class met only five times and went on five separate hikes with a crash course on safety, hiking etiquette, and the proper gear. (There was plenty of talk about REI.)

All five hikes have majestic and powerful waterfalls, gushing in the plump throws of a wet winter, the feeding streams engorged and silt-filled, raging with the power to transform worlds. Each of the hikes the class went on progressed in miles and elevation.

The hikes ranged from five miles and a few hundred feet of elevation gain all the way up to ten miles with a 1500 foot gain, with plenty of thigh-burning slope to lift you up to some spectacular views.

Some hikes, like the Trail of Ten Falls at Silver Falls State Park don’t really give you more than a few hundred feet in actual elevation gain, but you go up and down those few hundred feet about ten times so you get plenty of climbing in.

The hikes last about four to five hours and whether you like hiking in a group or semi-solo, pushing it up the ridge, or just staring at the caterpillars, there’s a pace and a place for everyone.

The hikes start at 9:00 AM, and you can expect about an hour of travel time to reach each trail head. The hikes aren’t local and transportation is not provided. So, make sure to secure a ride and get up early.

The winter hikes included Tryon Creek, Moulton Falls, Silver Creek Falls, Camas Lily Fields, and Dry Creek Falls.  An advanced hiking class will be offered this summer.

These hikes are prime examples of the magnificent region we live in and all within about an hour from any PCC campus. If you’re looking for a PE class that will get you out in the woods, up on a mountain, or in the mist of a waterfall, I would suggest looking into a hiking class.




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Charles Claringbold

About Charles Claringbold

Southeast Campus Editor, Charles was a member of the team that created, edited, and published the PCC Southeast literary journal Center Street in the spring of 2015. He is a published poet and musician who plays baritone saxophone with the PCC band at Cascade. He is also the band leader, singer, songwriter, and guitar player of Portland’s own punk rock doo-wop group Dartgun and the Vignettes. Charles returned to school after a long career as an executive chef, 30 years after graduating from high school. Inspired by their children’s success in college, Charles and his wife Christine both returned to school in the spring of 2014. Since then Charles has immersed himself in the creative writing program at the SE campus. He cites English department chair Jessica Johnson and poetry instructor John Morrison for additional inspiration and motivation. Charles plans to continue with the writing and music programs and is excited to join the of The Bridge as editor for the SE campus.