Hey! Long time, no see!
Yes, I know. It has been a long time since I posted. In my defense, it is winter here and most of the fun trails are under snow. I did do three days of Disneyland in early December, and I’m going to count that even if I don’t document it here. In any case, here is my report for the day-hike I did on January 18th.
I headed for this spot because it’s in the Oregon Coast Range, so there was no snow. There was fog however and it just got thicker as the day went by. The first 3.2 miles of this trail follow an old closed road:
This is standard for Oregon winter in the lowlands and the Coast Range – wet and mossy:
Honestly, there isn’t much to see on this hike. It follows a ridge for about 5 miles. There are no expansive views, just lots of trees:
In places, the fog in the trees was epic:
At this point a small cairn marks the point where the trail leaves the road:
However, only the trail changes. The scenery is the same:
At one point the ridge became very narrow and the wind was blowing though that spot with a vengeance. Somehow, when all the other trees were stripped of their branches for some way up, this tree sat in the windiest spot on the ridge and managed to hang on to several lower branches. Every theory I can concoct for why this should be fails me. I don’t know why. It stood out like a sore thumb though:
After about 4.15 miles I ran out of time, so I headed back. I don’t think I missed much.
I did find this bit of wildlife: a banana slug. They are native to a huge swath that runs from Alaska to California. They can be as much as 9 inches long. Often they are bright yellow with black spots, making them look like a ripe banana, thus the name (there aren’t any bananas growing here, trust me). However in my experience in Oregon (35+ years) they are almost all this brown-green color. This one, at about 5 inches long, was showing off its pneumostome. That is the hole in the side of it. That is actually the only opening to its single simple lung, and it’s not always open.
Pretty cuddly, eh? For myself, I just try not to step on them. It can get icky:
Well, that’s it. There wasn’t anything else to see. It might be a little better in the summer, but I can’t really recommend this trail for the scenery. For a day hike intended to keep you in shape it’s OK. My total distance was 8.3 miles.
Here is the KMZ file with my route. Click the link to view it in Google Earth (assuming it’s installed – if not you should go get it, it’s a free download).