Sunday, May 16, 2010

Elevation: 1756 feet

South of Port Orford, is a Coast Range mountain that juts up out of the ocean, forcing Highway 101 to detour around it. There's a state park and a campground there, so we decided to tackle the mountain. Here's a view of Humbug Mountain from Port Orford.

Only a little ways up, there were nice views of the ocean. We felt we were pretty high up at this point, but we were silly to think that. My legs agree.

We crossed this little creek. Luckily it wasn't too wide or dangerous!

A zoomed-in view of Port Orford from the mountain. If you squint, you can see Cape Blanco lighthouse perched on that arm of land in the background. That park and beach is about 20 minutes away from the mountain, probably.

Giant mushroom on a tree!

A nice view of the coastline. The highway goes right along the ocean, and continues that way all the way down into California. This part of the drive really is the most scenic, even if it isn't as popular as driving north.

This Stellar's jay greeted us at the summit. He flitted around a bit, and was just too beautiful. John took this picture, and he looked back at us just in time for his beauty shot.

I have this slight obsession with huge trees. You can imagine how excited I am to see the Redwoods in June!

I'd be lying if I said this hike were easy. It was three miles to the top, and gaining that much elevation over only three miles is, well, rough. But it made us feel really accomplished (and really sore the day after).

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Shades of green, gold and silver

We trekked to Golden and Silver Falls State Park this weekend, which has become my favorite place to be, even if you have to drive a long way to get there. That just means nobody else is there with you, and it's so quiet and peaceful.

We crank up the music, grip the wheel tight and fear cars driving the opposite direction on the single-lane, unpaved, winding road. But the payoff is TOTALLY worth the hour drive out there, especially in the spring when the water is still plentiful and the trees have recovered from winter. That means it's dark and damp and green, which feels so mysterious and beautiful.

Welcome to Golden Falls.

Ferns litter the forest floor, and so many of them were just starting to grow, making some leaves curly and cute!

Silver Falls is quite different and unconventional, and there's a large amount of spray from it. Sorry, camera lens, I'll clean you later. I needed the icy-water cool down.

We saw so many snails along the way -- John crunched one -- but they should stay off the trails! These guys were really big and colorful.

Giant slug/turd/goo. Gross. He's MUCH longer and MUCH bigger at another angle, but I really didn't want to get closer. I fear squishing one of these guys out here (there are a ton of them, along with the snails) just because of the way they would feel under my boot. Ick.

Looking over the top of Golden Falls. It's really not as difficult as it seems -- it's a slowly increasing grade on a simple trail. The breeze up here is rewarding either way.

We were visited by a beautiful hawk. He was lower and easier spotted soaring among the top of the pines, but he was eluding the camera. This is the best I got, and it certainly doesn't do the creature much justice -- there's just something about a hawk flitting among the tree tops in Oregon. Everything just seems so big and majestic, and it seems as though he's in charge of it all.


Any ID for these white flowers? They had this curly, green arm-like piece, as seen in the photo, and they were growing all over the ground at the top of the falls.

Moss, moss, moss. This place is all about moss.