Adventures in Oregon: Inland to Crater Lake

We loved the adventures we had driving southward down the coast of Oregon. We saw much of the ocean and nautical scenes as well as a variety of mountain hikes and nature preserves. It was the type of hiking we enjoy the most.

The weather was a bit disappointing from time-to-time, but considering coastal fickelness, I think we fared fairly well. It was now time to head inland for our last and perhaps most anticipated stop, Crater Lake National Park.

We were aware of the wildfires in Washington and Oregon as we had followed them prior to arriving in Portland, OR. If we were skeptical, our doubts vanished at the airport where ash was landing on our luggage as we waited for our rental car and most the the staff were wearing masks. We were believers!

Along the coast, the wildfires made only a small impact on our visit, but when we arrived at Crater Lake after a good day’s drive, this is what we saw.


Smoke and smog over Crater Lake
This was the best view. There were times when it was worse.

We had booked our room at Crater Lake Lodge more than a year ahead of time and paid an upcharge for a lakeside view. To say we were disappointed, is an understatement. We visited the ranger station, but the news was not good. The smoke predictions for the week were bleak indeed.

We were betwixt and between trying to decide what to do. We took some rides along the rim of the lake, but really there was not much we could see. Crater Lake is supposed to be an astonishing color and reportedly has some of the purest water in the world, but it could not be truly appreciated.

After consulting the weather/wind forecasts with our minimal wi-fi connection, discussions with the rangers and the hotel staff, we decided it would be wise to cancel the rest of our trip and head home.

***NOTE*** – I must extend plaudits to the park and the hotel for their willingness to provide a refund for all but the day we were staying at the hotel. The room was costly and the hotel was sparsely populated with guests. It wasn’t pleasant for the park service or those guests who were playing board games in the lounge when they would rather have been out hiking.

We were able to change our flights, etc. and we were prepared to head for Portland the next morning. I decided to wake up early to see if the quiet morning atmosphere would yield a worthy view.


A nice view the next morning!

I could not believe how nice the lake looked. I could finally see some detail and the color of the light was picturesque. That island to the left is known as Wizard Island.


Mount Thielsen from Crater Lake at Sunrise

The photo above shows a mountain rising in the distance which I believe to be Mount Thielsen with a height of over 9,000 feet at the peak. Google Maps suggests that the access road is only 6 miles from Crater Lake, but then there is the road from highway 138 to the mountain.

You can read more about Mount Thielsen HERE

I was so excited to be able to see parts of the lake and the surrounding area, that I took this panorama to document the scene.


Worthy of a Panorama

As we were loading the car for the trip to Portland and doubts arose in our minds, I was able to snap some daylight photos of the lake.


Wizard Island with the smoke lifting.

There is Wizard Island looking pretty good!

Here is a closer look!


A closer look at Wizard Island

Although it was a bit perplexing, we were set on returning to our desert home. Along the way we kept checking the weather reports to validate our decision to leave. We were able to learn that the smoke was once again heading to Crater Lake and more scenes like the one below were to be in the offing.


Another view with the Smoke closing in.

All in all we were satisfied we made the best decision we could. We were heading out early and stopped for breakfast and lunch. We thought we would have a smooth trip to the Portland airport, but nothing could prepare us for the traffic which nearly kept us from making our flight; but that’s another story.


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

Adventures in Oregon: Views from Ecola Point

Adventures in Oregon: Movin’ On Down the Road

Adventures in Oregon: Garibaldi’s Graces and Pier

Adventures in Oregon: Tillamook – Cape Meares Lighthouse

Adventures in Oregon: Pacific City, Neskowin & Lincoln City

Adventures in Oregon: Cascade Head and Hart’s Cove in Lincoln City

Adventures in Oregon: Cape Foulweather & Drift Creek Falls

Adventures in Oregon: Newport to Yachats

Adventures in Oregon: Heceta Head & Sand Dunes

Adventures in Oregon: State Parks: Umpqua to Shore Acres

Adventures in Oregon: From the Shore to the Falls

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Adventures in Oregon: From the Shore to the Falls


Adventures in Oregon: From the Shore to the Falls

Our maps and notes were showing the wear and tear of daily folding, unfolding and occasional markings incurred through our journey. Indeed our coastal exploration of Oregon was nearing the end.

One of the last points of interest we highlighted at the southern leg of our trip was the marine viewing area near Cape Arago State Park with views of Shell Island and Simpson Reef.


Shell Island

We were told by locals that we would be able to view wildlife at this viewpoint and a closer look revealed colonies of seals and sea lions on nearby Shell Island.


Seals basking on Shell Island

The water near Simpson Reef was a bit more shallow and appeared to be a tropical color.


More tropical-like waters near Simpson Reef

Read more about Simpson’s Reef and Shell Island via this brochure.

Our day began to take on a theme of land and sea as we were motivated to hike and explore the Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area farther inland. With maps and cell phone access, we figured it should not be hard to find.

There were some quirky twists and turns which led us temporarily astray, but perseverance and a trip down a bumpy road that was hard packed led us to our desired destination; the parking area near the trailhead to the falls. We chatted a bit with a couple familiar with the hikes and gained some advice about which trails to consider.

We thought that the view of the Golden Falls would be better if we headed there first to capture the best light. It was after 3PM and the sun was beginning to cast shade on the gorge. The flow of water was not dramatic, but steady and picture-worthy.


Approaching Golden Falls

My assumption is that the yellowish color of the rocks along with the tones cast by the sun inspired the name of the Golden Falls.


A closer view of Golden Falls

Our last adventure this day was the hike to the Sliver Falls.


Silver Falls

This proved less dramatic than the Golden Falls, but we wanted to complete the circuit and appreciated nature’s offerings along the way.


Another view of Silver Falls

This was a full day so we were glad to find our lodging for the evening as we prepared for our long drive inland to our final destination; Crater Lake National Park.


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

Adventures in Oregon: Views from Ecola Point

Adventures in Oregon: Movin’ On Down the Road

Adventures in Oregon: Garibaldi’s Graces and Pier

Adventures in Oregon: Tillamook – Cape Meares Lighthouse

Adventures in Oregon: Pacific City, Neskowin & Lincoln City

Adventures in Oregon: Cascade Head and Hart’s Cove in Lincoln City

Adventures in Oregon: Cape Foulweather & Drift Creek Falls

Adventures in Oregon: Newport to Yachats

Adventures in Oregon: Heceta Head & Sand Dunes

Adventures in Oregon: State Parks: Umpqua to Shore Acres

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Adventures in Oregon: State Parks: Umpqua to Shore Acres


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As anticipated when traveling along a nation’s coastline, one is likely to find a number of lighthouses. Although technology has rendered them less important than in the past, the lure of the sea and the mystique that accompanies them gives lighthouses a certain panache.

I am as much of a sucker for this type of thing as the next person and was therefore anxious to see the lighthouse at Umpqua Lighthouse State Park.


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This was one stop, however that was somewhat disappointing because the lighthouse was not open to the public. It was fenced in and surrounded by houses. While it had all of the requisite characteristics of other lighthouses…


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it was not as picturesque or architecturally engaging as others we had seen.

The Umpqua Lighthouse State Park had much more to offer than the lighthouse as we pulled into one of the main parking lots near the beach and put on our explorer’s garb. I have always liked beach combing because of some of the treasures Davy Jones tosses our way.

There was a series of jetties and one in particular seemed interesting because of this…


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We could not discern exactly what this boat was doing in the water. It was surrounded by barrels and there was a floating platform about twenty five yards behind. The craft seemed functional, but did not give the impression it was used for seafaring adventures very often. Here’s a closer look:


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As we walked along, we appreciated that we were not the only living creatures on the beach. This set of bird tracks went zig-zaging up the rocks toward the water creating an interesting pattern.


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With much to do this day, we did not linger before heading farther down the road. Sunset Bay State Park was a worthy stop. The tide was low and the colors of the water, surrounding rocks and trees were picture-pretty.


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We read about yet another lighhouse at Cape Arago near Charleston and were once again tempted to stop and capture some photographs. These were all from a distance as we could not get close to the building.


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This was a beautiful day. The sky was blue with wispy clouds and a soft breeze. After a number of days of mist and rain, the sun was most welcome. The seaside offered wonderful views of the Pacific Ocean.


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Anyone who spends a bit of time reading posts on JBRish.com, knows that I like gardening and I enjoy flowers. If you also appreciate plants, gardens and beautifully arranged formal garden settings, I would encourage you to stop and spend time at Shore Acres State Park garden near Coos Bay, OR.


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This display of Rudbeckias, which we grew in New Jersey, was thick and dazzling.


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Dahlias have always been one of my favorite flowers because of the intricate petal patterns and nearly unlimited variety in size, color and shape.


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The Hot Poker Plant (Tritoma) was one I have never grown, but these specimens were very colorful placed along the nearby hedge.


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There were a few greenhouses that had open doors and we took advantage of the “invite” and stepped inside. There were baskets of Impatiens, Angel Wing Begonias, Tuberous Begonias, Streptocarpus, Gloxinias and more.


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Visitors couldn’t ask for a more exquisite setting. There were an abundance of plants in a manicured and beautifully hardscaped botanical venue.


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

Adventures in Oregon: Views from Ecola Point

Adventures in Oregon: Movin’ On Down the Road

Adventures in Oregon: Garibaldi’s Graces and Pier

Adventures in Oregon: Tillamook – Cape Meares Lighthouse

Adventures in Oregon: Pacific City, Neskowin & Lincoln City

Adventures in Oregon: Cascade Head and Hart’s Cove in Lincoln City

Adventures in Oregon: Cape Foulweather & Drift Creek Falls

Adventures in Oregon: Newport to Yachats

Adventures in Oregon: Heceta Head & Sand Dunes

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Adventures in Oregon: Heceta Head & Sand Dunes

Farther down the coast in Florence, Oregon we stopped at the Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint. The Cape Creek Bridge was visible from the visitor’s area and the settling mist helped to create a picturesque image.


The Cape Creek Bridge

The lighthouse is a distance away from the parking area and well hidden by surrounding woodland. From the beach, we were able to capture a few distant shots of the outer buildings.


Lighthouse buildings seen from the beach

Using a long focal length, I was able to catch glimpses of the lighthouse through the trees as we approached.


The lighthouse becomes visible through the trees as we walk

The lighthouse is accessed by an uphill pedestrian path and we caught several sneak peaks of the popular landmark as we walked.


A sneak peak of the lighthouse from the path

The overcast sky and ambiance of the day called for a photo rendered in black and white.


The landmark lighthouse rendered in black and white

We spent time exploring the grounds and surrounding seascape as two pups were frolicking in the surf which I suspect might have been a bit cold!


Two dogs frolicking in the surf

Ironically, some of the best pictures of the lighthouse were captured at distant pull-offs along the roadside south of the park.


View of the lighthouse from a roadside pull-off


View of the lighthouse from a roadside pull-off


A closeup view from the pull-off via a telephoto lens

Along the route we saw several signs reminding us of the impending dangers of the coastal area.


Tsunami warning sign

As we continued south, we made a point of stopping at the Siuslaw National Forest and surrounding sand dunes. As a long time resident of New Jersey, I was familiar with sand dunes, but nothing prepared me for this.


Pristine sand dunes

There were acres upon acres (above) of nearly pristine golden sand dunes without one footprint or tire track.

There were areas set aside (below) for ATVs and related vehicles where there was ample evidence of use!


dunes with tire tracks made by ATVs

I could no longer resist the temptation to trek uphill!


Jeff runs up the hill to make tracks in the sand

Our rental car seemed so far away from atop of the sand dune.


Rental car seems far away from atop the dunes

Other sections of the park had dunes nestled along the ocean which were equally beautiful and beckoned us to take a walk.


Dune grasses along the beach

The ocean breeze was brisk as noted by the leaning grasses!


steep cliffs along the shoreline


A look to the north along the beach

I am hoping the panorama below offers a better sense of the scope and beauty of the sand dunes. They were very impressive indeed!


panorama of the sand dunes

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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

Adventures in Oregon: Views from Ecola Point

Adventures in Oregon: Movin’ On Down the Road

Adventures in Oregon: Garibaldi’s Graces and Pier

Adventures in Oregon: Tillamook – Cape Meares Lighthouse

Adventures in Oregon: Pacific City, Neskowin & Lincoln City

Adventures in Oregon: Cascade Head and Hart’s Cove in Lincoln City

Adventures in Oregon: Cape Foulweather & Drift Creek Falls

Adventures in Oregon: Newport to Yachats

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Adventures in Oregon: Newport to Yachats


Yaquina Head Lightouhse
Yaquina Head Lighthouse ,Newport, OR

Lighthouses have often had a romantic and storied aura about them and they remain just as alluring today as they have in our nation’s past. Although numerous lighthouses are no longer in use, they still draw visitors to the edge of the oceans and nearby cliffs.


Yaquina Head Lightouhse

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse is located north of Newport, at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. If you are a photographer, plan to stop several times during the approach to the main parking lot as the views are excellent from a variety of vantage points.


Yaquina Head Lightouhse

If the day is busy, it will be a challenge to take photos without numbers of tourists in and around the lighthouse, but careful framing can keep the focus on the lighthouse itself.


Ocean views provide their own beauty!
Ocean views provide their own beauty!

The lighthouse isn’t the only photo-worthy subject as the ocean cliffs and rock formations against the grassy bluffs provide another form of beauty!

Just a short 20-plus minutes south brought us to another noted stop, Seal Rock. It was a pretty ocean front park with several magnificent rock formations. We didn’t see any seals this day, but the sunlight was most welcome.


Seal Rock - Sunrise
Seal Rock Recreation Site with the morning sun breaking through


Sunrise at Seal Rock

While the seals were not present this morning…


Sunrise at Seal Rock

the Cormorants and Seagulls were enjoying the warmth of the sun!


Sunrise at Seal Rock

I enjoy unique and different buildings and Yachats had a historic church that was hewn from local timbers erected in the shape of a cross in 1930. The church was not open for visitors when we arrived, but I took a photograph to record the stop.


Little Log Church

Just north of the Cape Perpetua Visitor’s Center, we stopped to investigate the Devil’s Churn. With a name like that, who could resist? This inlet is noted for the rushing, churning waters.


The Devil's Churn

One area that we found worthy of longer exploration was Cape Perpetua.


The power of the Pacific at Cape Perpetua
The Power of the Pacific could be felt at Cape Perpetua

There were numerous tide pools and basins for the curious!


Ocean basin and tide pools to explore

One intriguing, highly touted attraction was Thor’s Well (below). The depression is best seen during higher tides, but was interesting enough for us as water gushed up from beneath the hole in the rocky formation. At higher tides, the water spills into the hole creating an interesting visual effect – see photos HERE.


The Devil's Punchbowl at Cape Perpetua

We also spent time exploring the tide pools and enjoying the beautiful creatures that live within. These anemones were a deep emerald green color!


A closeup of the anemones in a nearby tide pool

It was time to check our itinerary and head to our next stop; the Heceta Head Lighthouse.


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

Adventures in Oregon: Views from Ecola Point

Adventures in Oregon: Movin’ On Down the Road

Adventures in Oregon: Garibaldi’s Graces and Pier

Adventures in Oregon: Tillamook – Cape Meares Lighthouse

Adventures in Oregon: Pacific City, Neskowin & Lincoln City

Adventures in Oregon: Cascade Head and Hart’s Cove in Lincoln City

Adventures in Oregon: Cape Foulweather & Drift Creek Falls

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Adventures in Oregon: Cape Foulweather & Drift Creek Falls


Depot Bay near Cape Foulweather
Depot Bay near Cape Foulweather

One would think that traveling down the Oregon coast and looking at the coastline, rock formations, ocean vistas, etc. would get tiring after a while, but that was not the case. Each area seemed to have a different personality and although the various components were similar, it was this “personality” that made it distinct and interesting.

Cape Foulweather was no different.


Cape Foulweather looking north

The vista from the Otter Crest Loop was long, wide and swept northward with soothing wave motions covering the small sandy beaches. The landscape was dotted with houses which contributed additional points of interest for onlookers.

The shoreline was elevated at this location and the cliffs were striking.


Cliffs overlooking the shore near Cape Foulweather

Otter Rock is one prominent formation just off the shore, but quite large and visible.


Otter Rock

Some of the houses were quite close to the lookout and had extraordinary views of the bay.


Houses on the cape

One intriguing attraction was the Devil’s Punchbowl. Who could resist a stop there?


Devils Punchbowl

During a storm the water pounds through the hole. The red markings and ocher sandstone added interesting contrasts.


Devils Punchbowl - a closer view

Another anticipated stop in the area was the suspension bridge at Drift Creek Falls. When we first arrived in the parking area, there was a notice that the trail was closed because of construction and there were stones alongside large piles of dirt in parts of the parking lot. We were relieved to realize that the construction had not yet begun and the trail was still open.

We hiked through a heavily wooded area and the filtered light seemed to color everything with a golden hue.


Wooded trail leading to Drift Creek Falls

This was a very sturdy suspension bridge so even those who are not fond of this type of experience should have little hesitation. The metal sekelton was quite solid and the bolts working to hold the bridge steady were huge.


Eyebolt of Drift Creek Falls Suspension Bridge

Here is a shot of the superstructure with details of the beams and support braces.


Superstructure of Drift Creek Falls Suspension Bridge

The large cables can be seen; one in the bottom left and another on the right-hand side. These help keep the bridge very steady.


Cables holding Drift Creek Falls Suspension Bridge

The bridge is not the main attraction. The falls themselves draw much interest although during our visit they weren’t too impressive. Rather small with a moderate amount of water, they were hard to photograph from the nearby vantage points. At full flow after or during a storm, they would probably offer a more profound presence.


A less than dramatic view of Drift Creek Falls

I was able to walk a bit of the way down the hill toward the waterfall and take a more photogenic shot.


A more picturesque view of Drift Creek Falls

We walked a bit and then headed back to the car in anticipation of our next adventure along the Oregon coast!


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

Adventures in Oregon: Views from Ecola Point

Adventures in Oregon: Movin’ On Down the Road

Adventures in Oregon: Garibaldi’s Graces and Pier

Adventures in Oregon: Tillamook – Cape Meares Lighthouse

Adventures in Oregon: Pacific City, Neskowin & Lincoln City

Adventures in Oregon: Cascade Head and Hart’s Cove in Lincoln City

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Hiking: Yellow-Throated Gilia, Sequoia National Park, CA

One of the reasons I enjoy hiking is that it offers opportunities for interesting discoveries; some anticipated and others serendipitous. We were hiking along the Crescent Meadow Loop Trail in Sequoia National Park nearly a year ago when we came across a patch of wildflowers tucked away in a wooded area…


Yellow-Throated Gilia wildflower

It was hard to believe that these were real. The colors were so vibrant and unusual in combination. It was an amazing sight. The next day we were on the Sunset Point Trail and there was a large swath of these wildflowers covering the entire hillside.


Yellow-Throated Gilia wildflower
Love those standouts adding their all white accents in the middle of the patch!

 
Nature is the art of God.” – Dante Alighieri

Read more about Yellow-Throated Gilia HERE

 

Read more JBRish.com posts:

Hiking/Exploring HERE, Nature HERE, Photography HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Adventures in Oregon: Cascade Head and Hart’s Cove in Lincoln City

We were anxious to travel to Lincoln City, OR as we had read so many intriguing reviews of the areas we chose for hiking. The Cascade Head Preserve seemed especially promising. It is a coastal headland with two trails one of which is much longer; 4.2 miles. The upper trail leads to the most scenic views and brings hikers to the top of the hills overlooking the ocean and nearby shore. This was really a no-brainer for us.

We opted for the shorter upper trail which was a relatively flat mile-long hike. We had been hiking for several days already and planned to continue hiking once we arrived at Crater Lake National Park so this seemed prudent.

It was difficult to find the correct forest road (Cascade Head Road 1861) which is more of a cut out along the highway than anything else. We persevered and finally wound up at the trailhead ready to go.

The first part of the hike looked like a pathway in Jurassic Park with the fungi and mosses covering the tree branches.


Jungle-like growth at the start of the trail
Jungle-like growth at the start of the trail

After hiking for a a bit more than twenty minutes, we reached the meadow viewpoints. The vista was stunning.


The meadow and ocean revealed themselves
The meadow and ocean revealed themselves

As we moved closer to the descending side of the hill, we could watch hikers arriving from the lower trail.


Hikers were arriving from the lower trail
Hikers were arriving from the lower trail

The contrast of the golden meadow, the green trees and shrubs against the blue ocean was a superb display of nature’s palette.


nature's colorful palette
A contrast of colors

The craggy rock outcroppings were also very dramatic.


Dramatic craggy outcroppings


Dramatic craggy outcroppings

I couldn’t resist taking a panorama from this expansive vantage point with such a remarkable view.


A panorama taken form the top of the meadow

Feeling self-satisfied, we decided to attempt the trek to Hart’s Cove and drove to that trailhead. We were somewhat daunted by the steepness of the trail heading down as we knew it would be uphill coming back. One rule of hiking when there is no loop is that for every down, there is an up!

We asked some ascending hikers what their thoughts were and after some encouragement, we began the descent. It was indeed downhill!

The first part of the hike takes trekkers through forests of hemlock and Sitka spruce. We then arrived at the open trail to the grassy meadow with anticipation of seeing the cove.


Finally, the path to the cove
Finally, the path to the cove

We were careful with our footing and made our way to an area where we could have lunch and enjoy the view of the cove.


A scenic backdrop
A scenic backdrop

Although we couldn’t see the sea lions, we could hear them barking in the distance.


A wonderful spot to enjoy lunch
A wonderful spot to enjoy lunch

We lingered for a time taking in the view and enjoying the best this area had to offer. Although we faced a strenuous (for us) return trip, the memories will remain long after our muscles have recovered.


A final view of the cove before we headed back
A final view of the cove before we headed back

For more information, you can refer to this web page: Cascade Head and Hart’s Cove


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

Adventures in Oregon: Views from Ecola Point

Adventures in Oregon: Movin’ On Down the Road

Adventures in Oregon: Garibaldi’s Graces and Pier

Adventures in Oregon: Tillamook – Cape Meares Lighthouse

Adventures in Oregon: Pacific City, Neskowin & Lincoln City

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Adventures in Oregon: Pacific City, Neskowin & Lincoln City

After leaving Cape Lookout State Park, we were eager to see more of the beautiful and very different (for us) Oregon coast. Our next stop was Pacific City and environs. We realized very soon into our adventures that every city, town, hamlet, etc. is very proud of their section of the Oregon coast with their variety of natural rock formations and distinct features.

This is why we encountered two very different Haystack Rocks. They both resemble haystacks, but are very different in appearance. Here is the second Haystack that we encountered in Pacific City.


Haystack Rock, Pacific City - from a distance
Haystack Rock, Pacific City – from a distance

It is hard to appreciate at a distance so here is a closer view.


Haystack Rock, Pacific City - a closer view
Haystack Rock, Pacific City – a closer view

The relatively nice day brought many people to the shore for a variety of activities including surf casting.


A surf caster adjusting his rig<
A surf caster adjusting his rig

After a stroll along the beach, we decided to take advantage of whatever sunshine we had so we headed for the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge. We are fond of preserves and refuges and the descriptions we read were enticing.

We realized that this area was being revitalized and was very nicely presented. Unfortunately, this was probably not the best time of the year to appreciate the refuge as most wildflowers were dead or waning.

I guess the wooly bear caterpillar should have given us a clue.


A wooly bear caterpillar
A wooly bear caterpillar hinting at the cooler weather coming

Nevertheless, we embarked on the walk up the main path. Here is a view of Haystack Rock from one of the highest points in the park.


Haystack Rock from a high point at the refuge
Haystack Rock seen from a high point at the refuge

We also appreciated the “fun” side shown by the custodians of the refuge.


Bee crossing sign - fun!
Bee crossing sign – fun!

With no animals, not very many flowers to see, the sky becoming overcast and cooler temperatures developing, we left the refuge. Once again we decided to head on down the road to see another one of the touted sites nearby; Proposal Rock. There was a large parking area near the beach access with a unique and colorful wooden sign.


A Native American-style Colorful Fish Sign
A Native American-style Colorful Fish Sign

A short walk toward the back of a nearby hotel, led us to the beach where Proposal Rock is located. There was an active volleyball game being played as you can see in the area between the gap toward the right of the photograph.


Proposal Rock in Neskowin
Proposal Rock in Neskowin

We had one more stop earmarked for this day so we headed back to our car and reviewed the map for the best route toward Lincoln City. Once in town, and after securing our room for the evening, we headed for Roads End State Park. One of the area “residents” seemed to be standing watch over the parking lot inspecting new arrivals while making sure to heed the sign.


A segull sitting atop a sign to 'stand back'
A segull sitting atop a sign to ‘stand back’

Although the day was not very sunny, this beach was abuzz. There were college groups playing a variety of sports which we stopped to watch at various points. Many of the activities were new to us.

We proceeded with our customary routine of exploring by walking up and down the beach looking with interest at the various items we found in the sand and admiring energetic pups running through the surf.

This long rope-like piece of vegetation (below) is Bull Whip Kelp. These plants were very long perhaps twenty feet or more. It was amazing to see how thick and firm they were and how many pieces were strewn across the sand.


Bull Whip Kelp
A large piece of Bull Whip Kelp

Nature has an interesting way of offering gifts to those who are observant. Whle walking along the beach, we discovered the pieces of a Dungeness crab. Although the crab was very dead and well-eaten, all the major parts where present. I only had to move them slightly to arrange them in their relative natural order.


Remains of a complete Dungeness crab
Remains of a complete Dungeness crab

We had seen enough beaches this day and it was time to remove the sand from our shoes so we headed “home.”


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

Adventures in Oregon: Views from Ecola Point

Adventures in Oregon: Movin’ On Down the Road

Adventures in Oregon: Garibaldi’s Graces and Pier

Adventures in Oregon: Tillamook – Cape Meares Lighthouse

Adventures in Oregon: Adventures in Oregon: Cape Lookout, South Trail

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Hiking the Lime Kiln Trail – Cottonwood, AZ

One way we celebrate the winter season in the North Phoenix, AZ area is to take advantage of the wonderful weather that normally hovers in the 65-75 degree range. We also consult our list of potential hikes in other areas for those days that may also be unseasonably warm.

This situation arose recently when we learned that the afternoon temperatures in Cottonwood, AZ were going to be in the seventies. We had earmarked Dead Horse Ranch State Park, which is part of the Verde River Greenway, as a hiking destination.


Map trails: Dead Horse Ranch State Park

The sign to the park is a bit ambiguous so if you are entering Cottonwood from the South, take the first right-hand turn right after the sign. It is a bit clearer coming from the other direction.

The one trail we had highlighted for our journey this day was the Lime Kiln Trail which seemed to be the most popular. The trail is used by horses and dirt bikers, but on this day it was lightly traveled and was not bothersome.

After a short walk up the trail, looking in a westerly direction, the surrounding mountains came into view.


Surrounding Mountains Come into View

While the trail is an easy one, there were some mild ups and downs. The adjacent areas had some pretty hills with colorful reds and whites.


Lime Kiln Trail had mild ups and downs, but relatively easy


Lime Kiln Trail had mild ups and downs, but relatively easy

As you can see from the picture below, the trail is very clear and relatively clean. There was little, if any, boulder scrambling required.


A representative trail section - level, clean and clear

As we gained some altitude, we could look back at the hills and see Jerome (yellow arrow), just to the right of center in this picture. Jerome would be a worthy stop after a hike with its unique stores and restaurants although there are certainly a number of interesting eateries in the “old town” section of Cottonwood which has undergone a Renaissance in recent years.


The City of Jerome nestled in the distant mountains

Some of the sections reminded us a bit of Sedona, with the red rock outcroppings.


Some areas reminded us of Sedona's red rocks

As we hiked further upward, I stopped to look at the town of Cottonwood sprawled out below the park.


Cottonwood sprawled out below the mountains

This was one of the steepest inclines we encountered, but it was very short.


One of the steeper parts of the trail, but still not too difficult

A side section of the hill pictured above was used by more adventurous bikers who wanted some challenging terrain; notice rocks and rough spots.


Alternate bike section that was more rough than the hiking trail

There are beautiful colors in the hills of Arizona even in the more northern areas during winter. The yellow creosote bush stands out in juxtaposition to the dormant plants, reddish earth and blue sky.


Beautiful colors even in winter

This is the desert version of driftwood. I appreciate the haphazard art created by nature’s random placement.


Nature's desert driftwood and abstract art

The park has a number of camping areas and with that comes the apparatus of civilization cutting through the wilderness.


Power pole brings electricity to the park

While the trail map we had lacked some specifics, there were signs along the trail to serve as guides and help hikers find their way. We weren’t going to complete the entire trail on this day, but we did take a side jaunt to see the less than remarkable rattlesnake wash overlook. Perhaps in the spring, the foliage would provide a more scenic view.


Trail signs: Rattlesnake Wash Overlook and Lime Kiln Trail


Park Trail sign with good markings

This was a rather straight stretch of the trail alongside a meadow; love the colors!


Another straight part of the trail along a meadow

Prickly pear cactus (Opuntias) are prevalent in the southwest and often grow in a tall candelabra type shape. This particular species was quite red and low growing. Perhaps the elevated and open location, with potentially more winds, kept it from growing upward. Spreading in a horizontal habit gives it an appearance of a caterpillar crawling across the ground.


Red prickly pear cactus spreading across the terrain

Here’s another picture of the surrounding terrain and flora.


Another photo of the terrain and flora of the area

We didn’t notice it on the way up, but on the return trip there was a sign calling attention to the actual lime kiln.


The actual lime kiln

Currently this is what the inside of the kiln contains…


a close up of the current contents of the lime kiln

Here is what the kiln looks like from the trail.


A view of the lime kiln from the trail

As we left the trail and headed for the parking lot, I stopped to take a picture of this stately tree which I am guessing is a cottonwood. The pipe to the right is a water flume draining water into a more natural catchment area.


A stately cottonwood at the end/beginning of the trailhead

Although the car was only a few steps away, I noticed several groups of ducks in the lagoons which seemed to be popular fishing spots. I couldn’t resist trying to capture a few pictures for my American Birding Association checklist and picture archive. I had a decent picture of a coot, but not a good one so off I went.


Jeff taking pictures of the ducks

Not a coot, but a Ring-necked duck.


A handsome Ring-necked duck

Notice the bright orange eye!


A portrait of a Ring-necked duck with outstanding orange eye

Oh yes, there were some American Coots as well…


An American Coot

 

** NOTES ** The location of the Lime Kiln trailhead is not very well marked. If you park near the lagoon closest to the horse stables, the trailhead is to the left as you head in the direction of the stables. There is a trail stake to mark the beginning. After a short walk, you will need to cross a bridge which is where the water flume picture above will be located.

ARIZONA STATE PARKS & Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Facility Information – Dead Horse Ranch State Park

  • 675 Dead Horse Ranch Rd, Cottonwood, AZ 86326
  • Hours: 7AM – 6PM Daily
  • Amenities: Passenger vehicle parking. Restrooms
  • Length: 2.1+ miles
  • Elevation change: Mild (based on the first 2+ miles)
  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
  • Use: hiking, biking, picnic area, playground, fishing and horseback riding

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com