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Monday, March 28, 2016

Hiking with PolarBear

Yesterday, after being sufficiently motivated by Sonja and Roland, Troubadour and I decided to go for a hike at McDowell Creek Falls and PolarBear accepted our invitation to join us.

This will be Troubadour's second hike at the falls and my third.  PolarBear lives closer to the falls and I believe has been there a few more times.

The last time Troubadour and I hiked there was in 2013 and the water level was really low.  This year we are nearly 10 inches ahead in rain so we wanted to see just how much water was flowing over the waterfalls.  We weren't disappointed.

PolarBear and Troubadour were both taking pictures with their smart phones.  I am still using a dumb phone, so I had my trusty point and shoot Canon camera along for photo opportunities.

We didn't take the direct route to the falls but took the longer hike through the forest, just shy of 3 miles total.  

(McDowell Creek Falls County Park, outside of Lebanon, Oregon)

(Footbridge by the parking lot)

(Another footbridge a little further along)

(Troubadour taking a picture)

(Look down or you'll miss the flora)

(Crystal Pool's 20 ft waterfall)

(Western Skunk Cabbage, aka Lysichiton americanus)

(Luckily they haven't started to stink yet)

(Trillium grandiflorum, aka White wake-robin)

(Troubadour in green and PolarBear in blue - walk on ahead)

(All the trees were green with moss and lichen)

(Hmmm should we hop the gate?  Make good choices)

(Salmonberry blossom, aka Rubus spectabilis)

(The other side of the salmonberry blossom)


(New growth emerging from a Sword Fern, aka Polystchum munitum)

(Two sword fern fronds emerging among the Oxalis stricta, aka Common Yellow Woodsorrel)

(The uncommon "rubber tree")

(Looking back up a few stairs we'd walked down)

( An old log, so full of life - look close for the tiny white mushrooms)

(Tiny fungus found on the log pictured above)

(Yet another Salmonberry blossom- they were so bright I couldn't resist)

(Trees near the river - the falls below were to the left)

(Majestic Falls)

(A continuation of the trail)

(But first a few more shots of the falls)

(Majestic Falls - 39 ft)

(Majestic falls and a PolarBear)

(Troubadour and Trobairitz)

(Troubadour found sunshine shining through the trees)

(His view from the ground)

(Royal Terrace Falls - 119 ft)

(Troubadour on the left climbing to the falls)

(He's almost there......)

(He made it up the slippery goat trail)

(I zoomed out to show the ratio of size - Troubadour vs. the Falls)
He also made it back down the goat trail. No Troubadour's were harmed in the photographing of this waterfall.

It was just a quick walk from the falls to the car, so this was my last picture of the day.

It was nice to get out and go for a hike.  It has been so rainy we didn't do much all winter and now that Spring has arrived we need to get moving.

If you'd like to see photos our last hike at McDowell Creek Falls in August 2013 and compare water levels, please click this LINK.  If you'd like to read/see photos of the same hike I did with SpartanBabe in May 2013, please click this LINK.

- Au Revoir

" Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt." - John Muir
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28 comments:

  1. I'm not sure where this is exactly, but from the photos it looks like rainforest with all the moss and lichens. Nice pics.

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    1. Thanks David. We are in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. We've just had so much rain these last few months everything is lush and green. A sign by one of the waterfalls mentioned it being like a rainforest because of the spray from the falls.

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  2. All this walking makes for sad motorcycles....

    Lovely pics though and it looks like a great walk. Very similar to some our bush too - and it looks like you get plenty of rain too...

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    1. And sad motorcyclists too. We've had so much rain lately that off the beaten path riding is closed or too muddy and road riding isn't much fun. Luckily the rains are supposed to hold off this weekend and our temps are warming up.

      We average 40 inches of rain in the 'rain year', but this year we are almost 10 inches ahead. yeah, we see a little rain. Not as much as some areas of NZ though.

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  3. Quite the difference in water levels compared to last time's hike, Brandy. Love the selfie . What a beautiful area, I never get tired of hiking (albeit virtual) in your neck of the woods.

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    1. Yeah, it was so dry the last time we were there. I am hoping that because of all the rain and the snow pack levels this year the water levels won't go down nearly as much. Time will tell.

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  4. Nice job on the pics! All this talk of hiking.....must be contagious or something.

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    1. Thanks Dom, exercise can be contagious, but so can motorcycling......

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  5. Thanks for the virtual walk in the woods with all of the photos. 50" of rain!

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    1. You are welcome. We went from the driest hottest summer on record last year to record breaking rain this winter.....sigh.

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  6. Thanks for all the gorgeous photos Brandy, it's a real treat to see flora from other parts of the world. Have never heard of the Skunk Cabbage, it's beautiful (although clearly to be avoided at some stage!) . You live in a beautiful part of the world.

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    1. Thanks Geoff, I too enjoy it when I get to see the flora pics from around the world. We are pretty lucky to live in Oregon, it is quite diverse in its landscapes.

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  7. All great pics, Trobairitz! The scenes could be straight out of a Jurassic Park. I love the unfurling ferns—they always look just as ancient as they are. And the rubber tree… I wouldn’t have thought that your neck of the woods was tropical enough—but that’s global warming for ya. ;-)

    I think it’s pretty clear that y’all beat Sonja and Roland in the sun-seeking challenge. Of course, if the challenge was who could get more rain-soaked, well, they probably took that “prize”.

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    1. Thank you. We didn't see any dinosaurs while hiking. The damn rubber tree is more popular than it should be sometimes.

      I agree, Sonja and Roland definitely have us beat in the hiking in the rain department.

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    1. Thanks Michael. You and Rusty would have enjoyed the walk, well maybe except for how muddy Rusty would have been after.

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  9. My trail shoes and I need to come visit you! Beautiful!

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    1. Yes, you do Barb. Time to plan another half marathon in Oregon.

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  10. Beautiful photos, Brandy. It's a lovely little park and you did a great job of capturing it's personality. I'm dying to know your route, and how you extended it to 3 miles. :)

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    1. Thanks Kari. We parked at the first parking lot and headed up the long line of stairs, meandered around, crossed the road, ended up at another parking lot, back through the woods, crossed the road again, saw royal terrance falls and back to the lower parking lot. The hiking guidebook we have says it is 3 miles, but maybe it really isn't, maybe that is why it seemed like an easy hike.

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  11. as usual great write up and pictures of the area up there
    stunning

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    1. Thank you. It is good to go out into the woods from time to time to breathe in the fresh forest air and to recharge the system.

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  12. Very nice indeed. I can imagine the aroma. I love the west coast.

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    1. Thank you David. The forest has its own smell and it is wonderful.

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  13. Beautiful photos. Being from the desert with very little color, I love hiking on the west side. All life needs water.........

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    1. I don't think I could handle living in the high desert like you do. I am too used to the moisture in the valley. Let us know the next time you are headed to Corvallis, we need a meet up.

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