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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Drift Creek Suspension Bridge

We've been experiencing quite a dry spell here in Oregon with no measurable rain in the valley in two months.  A far cry from the 50 inches of rain we experienced last winter.  We've seen average temperatures in the high 80's to low 90's and one heat wave where we saw temperatures soar to 109˚F (42.77˚C).  We haven't been doing too much in the way of riding.  A few forest fires have sprouted up around Oregon and combined with the smoke from the fires in Washington and British Columbia we've had air advisory warnings whenever the winds shift.

On Sunday August 6th we did decide to take the Fiat and heat northwest towards the coast for a little hike. We'd been reading about the Drift Creek Suspension Bridge and Drift Creek Falls for quite a while now and decided it might be time to check it out. They are located just east of Lincoln City in the coastal range, approximately 9 miles up a windy one-lane forestry road from the Drift Creek Covered Bridge which I blogged about back in June 2011 in this post ---> LINK.

The drive up was fine and we managed to find a place to park in the parking lot, not on the side of the road like some folks had to do.  The trail is 3 miles (4.8 km) round trip and an easy hike - trail map LINK.  Unfortunately, when it is an easy hike it is classified as family friendly and is busy.  A lot busier than we expected for 1:00 pm on a Sunday afternoon.  Note to self - only do moderate and difficult hikes on the weekends.

The trail is a winding path through the woods, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) downhill to the creek.  We stopped for a few pictures on the way down.

(Heading down the hill - nice easy trail)

(Nature was reclaiming some of the downed trees)

(We crossed a few small bridges)

(Which meant creek crossings - water level is low)

(Interesting stump of a decomposing redwood tree)

At the 1.25 mile marker you arrive at the suspension bridge. The suspension bridge was built in 1997, is 3 ft wide, and spans 240 feet (73 meters) across the canyon. More info about the building of the bridge HERE.

(Our first view of the bridge)

(Troubadour on a suspension bridge)

(Me on the bridge - photo by Troubadour)

(Looking over the edge at Drift Creek Falls - not a lot of water this time of year)

(The other end of the bridge)
Because of other hikers we couldn't linger on the bridge.  Once on the other side we walked towards the edge a little for a better view of the falls and the span of the bridge.

(Drift Creek Suspension Bridge)

(Drift Creek Falls and Suspension Bridge)

(Troubadour pondering the falls)

(Photo by Troubadour - he turned around and caught me with the camera)

(I figured I'd stop being cheeky and stand up)
From here it was a short 0.25 mile downhill walk to the creek.  Unfortunately we'd found the rest of the people bottle necked at the rocky shoreline.  We chose not to linger, but instead turned right around and started hiking back up towards the bridge as fast as we could to get out of the way.  We were surprised at how many people were heading down there.

It was a pretty easy hike on the way back up and we were actually catching up to people.  We stopped  at the bridge to wait for folks to cross and Troubadour ventured a little closer to the edge of the canyon for one last picture of the falls.

(Drift Creek Falls, Lincoln County, Oregon)
We made it back to the trail head in what felt like record time.  For some reason it didn't seem to take us as long going up the hill as it did going down.  Usually it is the other way around.

Once at the trail head we had a snack and decided to follow the one-lane forestry road 16 miles west to where it intersects with Highway 101 along the coast.  It was a beautiful road, perfect for motorcycles with a lot of gravel spur roads just begging to be explored (just not in a Fiat 500). We definitely need to go back on two wheels for closer examination of those gravel roads.

We took our time getting to the coast, and after a short half a mile of coastal traffic turned southeast on Highway 229, the Siletz Highway.  A nice twisty way to avoid the tourist traffic on Highway 101.  We hadn't been on this highway since July 2013 (blogged about it HERE) and had forgotten how much fun it could be.  At Siletz we turned east on Highway 410, the Logsden Road. More twisties and even a stretch of gravel made us wish we were on the bikes.  One more turn east onto Highway 180, the Summit Highway took us Blodgett, Highway 20 and home.

We arrived home just before 7 pm.  It was a nice relaxing day, although we decided we had more fun exploring the back roads than on the actual hike.

- Au Revoir

"There's sunshine in the heart of me, 
my blood sings in the breeze;
The mountains are a part of me,
I'm fellow to the trees." - Robert W. Service, "A Rolling Stone" (1912)
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24 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good reconnaissance for future moto explorations!

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    1. That is what it turned into, so many fun looking roads through there.

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  2. Stunning photos Brandy and delighted to see that the rainfall has tapered right off for you. We're still catching it but there are encouraging signs! :-) Enjoy your summer!

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    1. Thanks Geoff. The rain didn't taper off, it was more like someone turned off the tap and won't turn it back on again.

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  3. Love the pictures of the bush and the bridge actually reminded me of the one I visited with Scooter Bob at Hokitika Gorge.

    Good plan to carry on the exploring on 2 wheels!

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    1. Thanks Andrew. I looked up the Hokitika Gorge and the bridge does look similar, although the water under the Hokitika looks a lot nicer and there is more of it.

      Two thumbs up for more exploring on two wheels. :-)

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  4. Nice photos and it looks like a great bridge. All of the green is nice even with your warm temperatures. I think I like the "cheeky" picture.

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    1. The bridge was quite interesting in design, but then I like bridges.

      The cheeky picture has a genuine smile. If I pose for a picture the smile always looks off like a DMV photo, but if you can catch me laughing it is much better.

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  5. Beautiful forests in your area and I love that suspension bridge. Nice!!!!

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    1. Thanks Steve. The evergreen forests in Oregon would make it hard to ever leave the area.

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  6. Great photos! Oh and weve got plenty of rain here in UK, if only there was some way of sending it to you ......

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    1. Thanks John. Let's figure out a way to send that rain over. The cars were wet this morning so I think it actually sprinkled in the night last night, but not enough to water any plants.

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  7. Its not going to last. Rain fog and cold are in the forecast.

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    1. We have a 50% chance of rain tomorrow so we'll cross our fingers there isn't any lightning with it as there are too many fires already. We could go to the coast where it is foggy every morning.

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  8. This is my kind of hike, Brandy. Love the details from the trail, and of course especially the waterfall with the basaltic rocks. A perfect outing.

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    1. Something tells me you would have liked a little bit more difficult of a hike. The scenery was pretty though. Everything in the valley is dry and brown so it was nice to see greenery and ferns.

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  9. What a gorgeous place! That bridge looks so exciting to cross! Lovely photos.

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    1. Thank you Tina. The bridge moved a little more than I thought it would when crossing, but it wasn't much.

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  10. Such a pretty hike. For the first time in 3 weeks we have clear skies today and no smoke. We also had a tiny bit of rain, the first rain in 53 days.

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    1. It is nice when the smoke blows away. Brad was teaching in Bend this weekend and we were there for two nights. It was so smokey on Saturday he was a little congested by the time he was done.

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  11. Excellent photos as usual and a very interesting area, I'm not much of a hiking fan myself but that one I would enjoy - short hikes and not too strenuous is the way I go!

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    1. Thank you Andrew. Nice easy hikes are good to ease us into hiking every spring but we should have gone for something a little more difficult just so there were less people.

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  12. Looks like a great hike, except for the crowds, of course! šŸ˜‰

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    1. Yeah, it is always the crowds that get to us.......

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