It was one of those Sunday mornings that occur now and then for me. It was the urge to get out of the house and head for the hills! I put a few things together for a hike and headed toward the Oregon Coast, where I most often go when the “get out of the house” message strikes. Since it was going to be another day of 100+ heat in the valley, it would be great to avoid it if possible.
Several years ago I discovered the Drift Creek Falls Trail. The trailhead is located on a mountain road about 12 miles east of Hwy 101 and about seven miles west of Rose Lodge. The road varied from paved, to gravel, to one lane or almost two. It was a typical mountain road with low maintenance. Portions of it, I discovered, had been recently repaved. It wasn’t any wider, but at least a relatively comfortable drive.
I should mention here before going further into my story, that in my opinion there are some drivers that should never be allowed on these mountain roads. The many sharp curves with limited views ahead require patience and low speeds. Some “weekenders” seem to think they are the only ones on the road until they roar around a curve and are face to face with me! I found that only a couple of those drivers were willing to slow and yield an inch of road. I was the one who pulled to the right, off the road edge, to allow passage.
When I arrived at the trailhead, there were already a number of carloads of hikers there. The trail descends around 500+ feet with a few “ups” but mostly “downs” until one reaches the 240-foot suspension bridge hanging 100 feet above the canyon floor. Of course, that meant the return hike was mostly uphill, with a few refreshing downhill sections.
The first time I took this trail, I was unaware of the cardiovascular condition that I was developing. I became concerned as I headed back up the trail. I had not paid attention to how long it took to reach the falls, so had no real sense of how long it might take to reach the parking lot at the trailhead. I was about to think I wouldn’t make it when around the next turn I was at the lot. I was never so glad to see my truck! At the time I really believed a miracle had taken place that transported me from where I was down the trail to the parking lot.
This time, with a good heart and cleaner arteries after triple bypass surgery on January 31, 2017, the trip was much easier, but I was still surprised at that last turn in the trail that brought me to the parking area.
Once back on the road I headed on down to the coast, hoping to arrive at Mo’s restaurant for a great seafood lunch. I almost never go to the coast without eating at one of the several Mo’s. Unfortunately, it was the prime lunch period. I visited three different locations along the coast only to find long lines outside waiting to get in to eat. I ended up driving home and poaching my own salmon for dinner. Not nearly as good as what Mo’s puts on the table!
All things considered, it was a wonderful day in the Oregon country. This beautiful state has a little bit of everything that makes living here a real joy.
I assure my friend, and fitness trainer, Jackie, that I hydrated appropriately as she would have urged me to do. And I apologize to my friend, Judy, for taking the hike without her, since we had planned on doing it together. Maybe next time (if I risk another trek).
I hope you will enjoy the photo review of the hike.