Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Redwood Coast Trip Days 1-2

We have done the Northern Oregon coast several times. As much as I love it, this year I was hoping to explore some of the south, maybe hit the Redwoods, and even Crater Lake. I am pleased to say we did that and more. Please join me on our wonderful adventure.

Day One – Sunday: Drive up through Northern Utah, Idaho, and into Oregon.

There are basically 3 options to get where we were staying. 1: i80 through the desolate desert, and up. 2. Up through Oregon, and then across a slightly less desolate area and go up and down some. or 3. All the way to Portland and then down the coast. We chose option 2. Something new and different, we thought it would be prettier, and not as desolate as option 1.


Mountains beyond Ogden. (DBP (Drive By Photography) Album).


This can’t be natural, right? Must by contrails. (DBP Album)


Yay, Idaho. (DBP Album)


Idaho is really just blah. We did discover one year that you can stop in Twin Falls and there is some pretty, if you need a midway excursion. But if you would rather push on, just keep going. (DBP Album)


Before long you hit Oregon. (DBP Album)

We took a truck bypass road and managed to avoid Ontario.


Interesting formation just east of Ontario. (DBP Album)


We went through Vale. It was only interesting since I have been watching Game Of Thrones. (DBP Album)



Some fun sun rays.(DBP Album)



The mountains along this stretch are kind of neat.(DBP Album)


Every couple miles we would see these signs, but the (new) center stripe was there the entire time. Why ya gotta lie ODOT? Haha, they probably just haven't gotten around to removing the signs. (DBP Album)

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Old man of the rocks. At least that’s what I’m calling it.(DBP Album)


Looks like we’re going to get rained on. (DBP Album)


Yup. (DBP Album)


A rainbow behind us. (DBP Album)



It’s kind of fun driving through the country side with a mild storm. (DBP Album)

Not much longer and we arrived at our hotel in Burns. Not too shabby for what we paid. Nice room, pool, spa, and is dog friendly. Just an extra $5.00 for her.

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We had a visit from a deer and her 2 fawn. They didn’t seem to mind us too much.

Not much later we heard what sounded like a tornado siren. Seriously. here was my thought process.

WTF? What is that? It sounds like a tornado siren…TORNADO?!?!? crap, what do I do? This place doesn’t have a basement… where do I go? Wait, it’s Oregon, they don’t get tornados. But it just rained, it could still be. Crap, what do I do? Ok, Oregon MAY get tornados, but not often enough to warrant having tornado sirens. Ok.. but what is it? Look around, residents are casually walking down the street, they don’t seem concerned. Maybe we are near a prison or something… OH THAT’S BETTER!!!

After discussing it with a few people I have determined it to be the local fire station, calling the volunteer fire fighters. The fire station was in the direction the sound came from, the air smelled smoky the following morning. Likely the lightning started a fire. Still a little troublesome.

After relaxing for the evening we went to bed. We hoped to get up an early start for the next leg of our journey.

Day 2 – Monday: Drive across Oregon to the coast.

After gassing up (quick reminder, the attendant has to pump it for you.) we were on our way.


Neat little rock formation outside of Burns, with a cave.


From Burns to Bend it is a strait line through… nothing. There are a few tiny towns, but mostly sagebrush.

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They are kind of hard to make out in this shot, but you can see 2 of the 3 sisters, and the bachelor. I’m not sure how far away from them we are, but I love seeing the volcanic peaks in the distance.

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Little better shot of the 3 sisters.


Getting closer.


Roxy fell asleep in her travel dishes. So adorable.


After Bend, you enter the forests again, and it is a much prettier drive.


Nice clouds.


After Lake Junction you travel strait uphill for awhile. I was marveling at how much it looked like Yellowstone through here, only to learn they are the same type of trees: Lodgepole Pines. They like volcanic soil.


After passing Crater Lake Junction you start going down hill towards diamond lake. This canyon takes you down pretty quickly, and is somewhat windy.


Still a very pretty drive down.

Just past Diamond Lake are our 2 adventures we had planned for.


We stopped by Watson Falls. It is a short .5 mile hike to the tallest waterfall is SE Oregon. You can see more of that adventure here.


We then stopped by Toketee Falls. Another short .5 mile trail. You can see more of that adventure here.



Enjoying some more of this pretty canyon.


Just before Roseburg we hit some construction while they cleaned up this landslide.



From Coquille to Bandon saw some of the ocean fog making it’s way up.


First view of the ocean! We are almost there!

We finally made it to our room, grabbed some dinner and settled in. I am actually pretty pleased with our accommodations this year. really nice and very well stocked. They have just about everything I could think of.


And I got a fun little bonus. The town we are staying in is small enough that there isn’t much light pollution. The town down south is as well. There was no fog, and it was a young moon. All of this combined allowed us to enjoy the Milky Way. Just jaw dropingly, awesome!

Well, that was just our adventure out to the coast. I have a ton more to share, but will break here.

Watson And Toketee Falls – Redwood Coast Trip

On our way out to the coast we drove down highway 138 which follows the N. Umpqua River down the Cascades. There are millions of things to do, but we decided to hit these two stunning waterfalls. They are both very short trails and are well marked so we had no trouble finding them.

Watson Falls

Watson falls is a pretty, 272 foot tall waterfall that falls off of a lava flow. It is a short .5 mile hike through a lush green forest.

I am not familiar enough with Oregon to provide detailed instructions, but it is a little ways west, or down canyon from Diamond Lake. It is well marked though, so it was easy to find.


Even just the parking lot is deep in the woods and offers some great views.


Some nice moss covered rocks. Well, I guess we took a side path because it brought us back to the parking lot. Whoops.


I did however notice you could see the top of the falls from down here.

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Nice little butterfly.

After going up the first set of steps, you cross a road, then continue back into the forest.




So far the trail hasn’t been too difficult. I just love how lush and green Oregon is.




Mossy rocks, and forests. This is a beautiful trail.


Landis a Roxy making their way up. There was no information regarding dogs being allowed, including no signs barring it. So I am not sure if she was allowed here, but we couldn’t just leave her in the car. So, we took a risk. They are allowed at Toketee, so I imagine she was fine.



Stunning little set of small falls here.




The view from the first overlook. It’s nice, but I want to see more of this nice waterfall, so we pushed on to the next one.


More lovely woods.


Another nice small waterfall.


The view from the 2nd viewpoint isn’t much better. On to the 3rd!


This last leg looks to be a bit steeper.


Is it obvious how much I like the moss covered rocks? We don’t get much of that here in  Utah.



That’s better! What a beautiful waterfall! At 272 feet it is the tallest in SE Oregon, and the 4th tallest in the state from what I read.

Well, this overlook is along a steep embankment and I was ready to turn back.


More moss.


There were a couple other spots to see it on the way down.


There is a cave up near the top.


I think I like this one best.


The stream below.


Back down to the small set of waterfalls.

That was a wonderful little hike! I am super glad we did it. Absolutely stunning! 10 out of 10 Squirrels.

It was marked moderate, but I didn’t find it to be too difficult. Probably going to end on a DR4 just for the steep end section.

Dogs? Unconfirmed. No signs banning them, no signs saying they are allowed. Nearby Toketee says they are allowed.


Toketee Falls

This trail is approximately .5 miles, but is marked easier. It was like, 5 minutes down canyon from Watson, so I figured why not. A big waterfall running over columnar basalt? Definitely a must. At 113 feet it is shorter, but I think more impressive. This trailhead states dogs are allowed, on leashes.



The first thing that stands out is this huge 12 foot diameter wooden pipe, that has sprung a few leaks. If I remember right, they take about half of the water for a power plant.


One of the leaks is helping this pretty flower out.


It starts out nice and flat, again going through a nice forest.


Following a nice calm river. The North Umpqua I believe.


Another pretty forest shot.


Funky looking tree.


The waterfall? This doesn’t look right. Oh, the trail goes further.

This is a fenced in overlook, because it is at the TOP if this tall waterfall. This girl is ok posing right next to the edge of it, not to mention there are deep whirlpools here according to the signs at the beginning of the trail. Nope, not for me.


After a series of steps (97 up, and another 125 down to be precise) we made it to the main waterfall viewing platform. Frankly I am glad it is fenced and has steps. I don’t think I could do it if it wasn’t. Starting at the top of the falls, making your way down a deep gorge with steep slopes, yeah, not my forte. There was one short section that was not fenced that I would have liked it to be, but we made it okay.



This is a 2 tier waterfall, and you really can only see the lower 85 foot drop, but it is still a lovely waterfall.


Landis and Roxy.


Said deep gorge.


Retuning steps up.


Some stone steps.


The section I think should have a fence. I don’t like heights. It wasn’t too bad, but it did make me uncomfortable.


Top of the falls without a person in the shot.


Another angle.


Some rapids above the falls.


Mossy rock and forest.


Cool hollow tree.


Mossy log.


Strange hollow tree.


Lovely little side stream at the beginning of the trail.

Another fantastic little hike. Not too many people, short and quick with an awesome waterfall at the end. Again rating 10 out of 10 squirrels.


A little scary, but the worst of it is fenced in. I found it to be easier than I anticipated, and with the stairs it was fairly easy. Going to end at at DR3 for this one too.

Dogs: Dogs are allowed, leashed. Keep a tight hold on them if they are rambunctious as it it a very steep gorge.

While in the area, be sure to stop at Colliding Rivers. We didn’t stop on the way to the coast, but did on the way out. It is pretty nifty, and unexpected bonus works as a good rest stop as it has restrooms. A rest stop with a view? Heck yeah!

There is a lot of amazing sights that we saw, and undoubtedly countless others we missed. If you like it, continue our fun adventure here.