Posts Tagged ‘oregon’

Eagle Creek Trail: The Oregon Waterfall Encounter! (Day 19)

August 1st, 2009 6 comments

Most importantly: this was a 12-mile hike (6 in, 6 out). The bottom four miles or so seemed like being on a conveyor belt and observing a nice river and several waterfalls through glass. Like at Sea World with the penguins. It was strange. Felt disconnected from stuff — like I could see the river and/or waterfall out there, but I wasn’t near enough to like touch it or anything. Plus the trail was pretty flat.

This trail was interesting in that it was mostly dynamited out of the side of the hill. You’re walking on a ledge for the most part. They had some cables up to hold on to, but it’s a pretty wide ledge.

The last couple miles on the way up (and the first couple on the way down) are pretty exciting, though. I hiked the trail up to Twister Falls, which comes right after Tunnel Falls. Tunnel Falls is the coolest waterfall I’ve seen in Oregon. Yes, including Multnomah. It’s just cool. The majority of the hike might have been merely pleasant, but the payoff was huge. IMHO. Always IMHO.

eagle creek trail ledgeSee, they just, like, blasted the trail out of the side of the hill.

upper punchbowl fallsUpper Punchbowl Falls: look, but don’t touch! Actually, I think it’s possible to get into that pool, there, but it requires some effort (the path at the lower-right of the photo does not go down to the pool) and wouldn’t it have made sense to blast the trail such that it, like, goes right by the waterfall? No?

unnamed waterfallAnother little waterfall keeping its distance.

tunnel falls tunnelThe tunnel (and trail) that goes behind Tunnel Falls.

tunnel falls tunnel exitExit tunnel right.

tunnel falls from behindThe view from behind the waterfall.

tunnel falls bottom halfBottom half of Tunnel Falls, with the trail cutting through it.

tunnel falls top halfThe top half of tunnel falls. Actually, both “half” photos are more like three-quarters. Key point: I couldn’t get the whole waterfall in frame.

twister falls

Twister Falls, just above Tunnel Falls.

tunnel falls landscape orientationYes, Tunnel Falls. Again. But!: landscape orientation. Well worth it.

Oh well. If you ever want to see more photos of waterfalls — especially this one particular waterfall — I have them available. (I mean, I *do* have them available, but — you know.)


Categories: west coast Tags: , , ,

Tillamook Air Museum, Fort Clatsop, and Anything Else (Day 18, Part 2)

August 1st, 2009 2 comments

The Tillamook Air Museum wasn’t foggy. Instead, it was a small, local air museum. The most interesting thing about it was that it was housed in an old WW2-era blimp hangar. Also noteworthy were the numerous signs explaining to people that, in fact, the Spruce Goose is not housed there — it’s in McMinnville. I knew that ahead of time.

One photo:

tillamook air museumThe hangar door with an A-7 looking on.

Basically, it was like the Chino Air Museum minus 30% of the aircraft but housed in a much-cooler facility. And hopefully I figure out something to photograph at air museums before I get to Dayton.

And then Fort Clatsop, which has nothing to do with the Tillamook Air Museum, is where Lewis and Clark’s expedition holed up for the winter of 1805-06. Very tiny, unphotogenic fort btw (thus: not fort photos), but still it was a pretty cool historical place to be and made me think I ought to read something about Lewis and Clark some day. And, similarly, right now I should probably read something about the Revolutionary War so I can feel all informed when I stop in Trenton on my way down to Philly in a month or two.

fort clatsop landingThe place where Lewis and Clark landed their canoes — they probably just tied on to one of those regularly spaced, vertical posts in the water there.



Oregon Can Keep Its Coast (Day 18)

July 31st, 2009 2 comments

I figured out what the problem was. When you’re in New York City and it’s wall-to-wall people, it’s cool — you’re in NYC, it’s supposed to be crowded, that’s why it’s NYC. When you’re out on a remote sea coast in a forgotten part of the country and *that’s* crowded? Just wrong.

I think it was the Portland weather (106 a couple days ago) that chased everyone that wasn’t already occupied out of town and down the coast. Meaning: crowded, no campsites, hotels charging maximum rates, and people not used to having to deal with the outside world struggling to cope with the outside world. I had multiple occasions where someone would be staring at me, I’d say hello to them, and they’d act like they didn’t hear me. Odd.

Plus it was foggy.

cape meares lighthouseCape Meares lighthouse — so stubby, even a morbidly obese man can consider climbing it!

oregon coast fogIf you look hard enough, you can just about make out one of the rarest of sights — ghosts eating marshmallows in a snowstorm.

three capes drive shorelineShoreline along Three Capes Drive — and the scene only barely ruined by litter!

cannon beach in the fogHard. Up. My favorite is the guy out in the surf wearing his rain jacket.

In short, then: too many people, too much fog.


Fall Creek Falls (Day 17, Part 0)

July 29th, 2009 Comments off

Should’ve posted this yesterday maybe since it’s another site on the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway but I forgot I had these photos on the other camera so I didn’t oh well.

Fall Creek Falls was a 2-mile hike round-trip to a small waterfall. Very unassuming. Reminded me of a hike you’d find in Hawaii, though, and the waterfall falls into a small pool that you could swim in, or in which you could, like, bathe in the waterfall. Although I didn’t because it was early in the morning and that would’ve been cold.

fall creek falls trailA photo of the trail leading up to the falls. This way, when you get to the photo of the falls, you can feel like you’ve earned it.

fall creek falls lowerThis is where you’d take the waterfall shower.

fall creek falls upperTurns out there’s an upper part to the falls, too. Sorry for the grainy-ness, but there wasn’t much light (ISO = 400).

And then I got to the coast and you know what happens from there. Partly.


The Oregon Coast Would Be Better with a Date (Day 17)

July 29th, 2009 4 comments

At least, that’s what I’m figuring. I’m realizing there’s a certain class of activity on this trip that is not ideally suited for individual travel and the Oregon Coast seems to be in that class. So were Monterey and Carmel.

Also, seeing all these sights in such close succession leads me to, well, compare them. Oregon Coast seems similar to Big Sur, thus I compare. And I think Big Sur wins. Way more drama, at least so far. Nothing much to *do* at either of them (I guess I could go collect sand dollars), but still — I like my Big Sur photos better.

‘Course, today I’m probably going to a flight museum. That oughtta speed things up. And I’m thinking I’ll be at REI in PDX tonight getting my broken down brand new shoes replaced (less than 50 miles and the soles are coming off). So things are looking up! And maybe the coast gets more drama once you’re north of Lincoln City. Ah well.

It’s still way better than working and the coast is very beautiful, even if I’m forced to recognize that it’s not my favorite part of the Pacific Coast. (Plus all these little towns are very tourist-trappy, until you hit the Wal-Mart, at which point they also lose some of their charm. Meh!)

umpqua lighthouseThe Umpqua Lighthouse, bravely keeping Coast Guard family housing safe from errant U-Haul trucks.

sea lions on rockIt costs $11 to look at these sea lions. And then all they can do is just writhe there.

heceta lighthouseThe Heceta Lighthouse, which — credit where due — is at least near the ocean.

beach with guy and dogIt’s not that it’s not pretty — just: (a) better with a date and (b) not as pretty as Big Sur.

cape perpetua shoreVaguely reminiscent of the Na Pali coast, what with the fog in the distant cliffs and all.

And I’m still wondering if I’m just getting jaded from seeing too many great places. Ah well. Maybe I just need to get into another more-kinetic part of the trip. Maybe I should’ve just hiked the PCT instead. Maybe next year. No, really.


The Rogue-Umpqua Byway Is Like New Zealand, But Not So Far Away (Day 16, Part 2)

July 28th, 2009 1 comment

It was kind of like going to a movie you haven’t heard anything about and then really, really liking the movie. I don’t have any photos that really do it justice, but the drive along the Upper Rogue and then the Umpqua Rivers heading out of Crater Lake was pretty fantastic. About every five miles or so there’s something spectacular — waterfall or mountain peak mostly.

rogue river gorgeThe Rogue River Gorge — the colors are reminiscent of NZ. To me. No kauri trees, though.

mt thielsen oregonMt. Thielsen and Hwy. 230. I’d never heard of the mountain, but — man, that’s an evil-looking mountain. IMHO.

lemolo lake and thielsenLemolo Lake and Mt. Thielsen in the distance. The sign posted at the lake said that the fine for swimming in the (public) lake was $10,000. Mussolini would feel *so* vindicated.

watson falls umpqua oregonWatson Falls — I think it’s the second-highest waterfall in Oregon.

hwy 138 and umpqua riverWhat Hwy. 138 looks like.

island campground umpqua riverMy private beach for the night at the Island Campground (only $8!).

Anyway: I thought it was pretty cool, favorite drive of the trip so far. I need to take up fly-fishing just so I have a reason to come back here. Would probably be a good place for rafting or whitewater kayaking, too, and I’m guessing the North Umpqua Trail would be worth hiking, too.



Crater Lake Is a Big Crater with a Lake in It (Day 16)

July 28th, 2009 10 comments

I didn’t catch the vision. Or, well, the vision I caught was this: they created an entire National Park to celebrate the color blue. To that end:

crater lake blue

I don’t mean to imply that it’s not an exceptional shade of blue.

I dunno. Maybe I’m just getting jaded from seeing too many national parks one on top of each other or something. Just that there’s not much to do at Crater Lake other than look at the lake. There are hikes to various spikes around the crater, but the only point to hiking them is to get another view of the lake. So, to that end, here are more views of the lake. It’s very blue.

crater lake east rim viewYep, still blue. A little darker when it’s in the shade.

crater lake blue alsoIt’s sort of like being at MoMA. In this all-blue canvas, I see the struggles of the working class to overcome the forces of nature (and so forth).

crater lake east sideEven from the East Rim, still blue.

Crater Lake llao rock

Llao Rock, which is not blue. Neither is my truck.

watchman at crater lakeThe Watchman — not blue, but certainly a little glum.

crater lake from rim villageBut still — mostly about the blue.

I didn’t end up spending much time at Crater Lake. Just not that much to do there, like I said. They have a $27, two-hour boat ride you can go on, but the guy selling tickets explained that it’s mostly interesting for geologists or vulcanologists. He seemed disappointed when I did not self-identify as either.


Crossing Into Oregon: State #3!

July 28th, 2009 Comments off

welcome to oregon

There’s probably a reason great photographs aren’t usually taken through car windshields.


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