Thursday, April 9, 2015
Drift Creek Falls
Today we hiked the Drift Creek Falls trail to the suspension bridge and waterfall. Drift Creek Falls is between our farm and Lincoln City, where I made an early morning trip to take two cats to the Vet Clinic to be spayed today. We had to pick the cats up afterwards, so decided to take a side trip on our way. What a change from the last time we drove up that 9 miles of road off Hwy 18 to the trailhead. It is now almost entirely paved instead of rutted gravel, signs tell you which way to go at every turn, how far you are from the trailhead, and there is a big parking area when you get there. The trail itself is well-maintained and wide. That is not how we remember this trail!
The trail winds through second growth douglas firs, but huge stumps and hunks of old logs show how big the original trees were.
The suspension bridge no longer swings and sways with every step. Either my memory has it much scarier or it has been cabled better than it used to be.
The waterfall roars over the basalt near the bridge. The bridge is so high over the falls and the stream below that the falls does not look as high as it is. It tumbles down to the creek that flows under the bridge.
Cropping helps a little...
There were people waiting at the far end of the bridge. We thought they were waiting for us to cross so they could return. But instead, it turned out they were waiting for us to get off the bridge so they could fly their drone over it and take photos with the drone!
We watched the drone for awhile, wondering if they were going to crash it into the bridge, but the operator was quite skilled. We walked on down another two tenths of a mile to the creek below. From there the waterfall was closer. Lots of little white splats on a log across the creek convinced me that Dippers nest in the cliff near the falls. It would be a great place, but we did not see any while we were there, eating our picnic lunches.
On the way back, we had to wait for the drone flyers to get off the bridge. The drone was taking movies of them walking over... with many retakes. Sort of high tech selfies, I guess. After we finally got across, Johnny decided to take the "North Loop" trail. It winds in and out, up and down, then returns to the main trail... a considerably longer and more arduous hike.
I took the main trail and waited for him at the other end. During that time, I tried to take photos of butterflies but my camera battery was dead. I changed to my other battery and discovered I had not recharged it! So all the photos from this point on were taken with Johnny's camera. Also the trailhead photos at the top because I had not taken any when we started off.
We drove back to Hwy 18 and the vet clinic, where we picked up our now expensive stray cats.That story another time. Since they were still groggy in their respective carriers, we drove on north on Hwy 101 to the Nestucca Wildlife Refuge. I love their outhouse. Johnny went in and out without noticing the daffodils. So I made him go back in and take a photo.
We drove on up to the lookout parking area and hiked to the top on the very civilized trail. From there we could see Haystack Rock and Cape Kiwanda.
Looking east, we could see the Hwy 101 bridge over the Little Nestucca River.
We drove on then to Pacific City for supper at our usual place, the Mexican restaurant, before heading home.
The cats were glad to get back to the farm and freedom.