Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Clearwater Falls

On our way home from one of our other adventures we decided to do a quick stop at Clearwater Falls. There is a parking area separate from a camping area. A fairly short walk up the trail from the parking lot takes you to the top of the falls.

It looks like there is another camping area across from the river at the top.

You can see that it is a well named river.

Getting closer to the actual "fall".

Closer...

...The edge where it is falling!







I had a hard time getting good pictures because the lighting was so weird. It was very bright in the sun and especially where the sun hit the water, yet dark in the shadowy parts.  The flash kept going on  while in the automatic mode so I tried turning it off and taking the picture that way. I think without the flash on they turned out better.

One interesting thing I noticed was that though it was a warmish day when we walked to the viewing area at the foot of the falls the temperature got cooler by about 20 degrees. It was very refreshing.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Rock Pile And Illahee Area

While we were exploring the Illahee area we were way high in the mountains and drove by an interesting looking pile of rocks just off the road. How can a pile of rocks look interesting? One reason was because they were the only big boulders like that in the area.     

We had to stop and investigate.

Unfortunately the pictures don't show how truly interesting the formation is. 


There was a little area that wasn't a cave, but it was a good size overhang.

It was obvious that we weren't the first ones there. There was a homemade bench of a log on two rocks and a little fire ring.

It was fun exploring the area. The big boulders made mini canyons and doorways to magical imaginary places. 

And then I looked up and saw this:

In case you can't tell it's a giant round boulder balancing on a couple of other rocks. Remember this is over head!

Check out this hairy tree and the cavelet underneath.

There were nooks and crannies everywhere. This would have been a fun area to camp overnight. Just one night.

On the way down the mountain we looked through a clearing of the trees and saw the Illahee Lookout on top of the opposite mountain.

There it is! We'll see if we can get closer one of these days. This lookout is still active.

And we got to the Illahee Flats Campground. This is where the trail head is.

The campgrounds were really nice. Look at this bathroom. One of the nicest I've seen in a campground. I dare say "cute". 

There's a little "USFG" stamp on the wood above the handle. 

Also in the campground was this covered fireplace. Very cozy.

And for those nonrainy nights there is an open fire pit with convenient benches and picnic table.

I guess if you want a little less rustic than camping in the rocks this would be a great place too!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Pig Iron Lookout

Besides our slight fascination with caves we like to go to the other spectrum and check out various fire lookouts. Hubby had found this one kind of by accident when he was grouse hunting one day.

This is the Pig Iron Lookout. To get there take NF-4780, aka Mowich Loop Road. This is the road that turns off North Umpqua Highway just north of Stump Lake. As you continue up that road you have to be careful not to miss where 4780 makes a definite right turn. It almost seems like a different road, but if you were to go straight (which seems the obvious choice to remain on 4780) you would end up at the Clearwater Forebay. So anyway, you've turned north (right) to continue on 4780. At the next "T" intersection make a left onto NF-060 and very shortly after a right onto NF-100. Stay on 100  until you get to the locked gate.

Now you'll have to walk a bit. Fortunately it's an easy, level walk on the gravel road. It's barely just over a mile long trail. 

There's Clyde leading the way.

There's a little path that leads off the road. It doesn't look so easy.

You'll finally get to another T in the road and head left. You should be able to see the lookout then.


Here it is from the roadside.


Looking up at the lookout.


Here's a view from the base of the lookout.


Here's from that rock Hubby is sitting on. We made Clyde stay because it's a little dicey beyond that point. Didn't want him falling off the cliff!. In fact, I was rather uncomfortable being on that point myself!


Here's a few pictures of the area.  Look between the trees here and you might be able to see Watson Falls.


Here it is enlarged. You can still barely see it here, but it's there! Right smack dab in the middle of the picture flowing off the big rock.


Here's the valley below with the canal going into the Clearwater Forebay.


Toketee Lake just to the right of the forebay.


I got the bright idea to use the video on my phone to do a panoramic view. The first video is from the base of the lookout.

video

This video is from the rock point below the lookout. Sorry about the quality. It's not high-def and I was trying not to fall off the rock!
video

Here was a note posted on the base of the lookout by the stairs to go up.

Having lived in California for so long it just amazes us that we can go to an unoccupied lookout like this and see that it hasn't been vandalized. It's so refreshing. 

In any case it's a great hike. Like I said, if I find it to be an easy hike then trust me, it is!