Alsea Falls, revisited
February 14, 2015
and I last visited Alsea Falls in January of 2001 - 14 years
and 3 dogs ago. On this, the 156th anniversary of Oregon's statehood,
we decided to go again.
Alsea Falls is a real pain in the patootie to get to - very twisty
roads, and even a one lane road at the end. It's worth it.
Darling hadn't been on a 'real' hike yet - for the past few years
Keely has been busy running marathons and I have been occupied with
Community Boathouse. We decided we needed to get back into the
woods, and the 3.5 mile hike at Alsea Falls would be an excellent
This year has been warm and wet - it was actually in the high 50s
on our walk. Those conditions are perfect for fungi growing in the
damp and rotting wood. I don't know what this is called, but it
was on a cedar log and bigger than my hand. Keely refused to see
it if was poisonous.
The gates to the campground were locked - of course, it is February,
after all, but it was no problem to walk around them and over the
steel bridge over the South Fork of the Alsea river.
Right away, you are into the rain forest - the air is literally
saturated and moss covers everything. That has to be a Vine Maple
under there, but we just called it a Spider Tree.
Water, water, everywhere - and bridges, too. Darling, sweet little
house dog she is, wanted nothing to do with bridges. Aurora just
don't care - she turns going on walks into a career.
Nursery tree - dead stump giving life.
Moss everywhere - soft as feathers and choking the life out of
everything it touches.
We'd hit the trail a little after 10am, the sun was slanting through
Oregonians feel sad for the Irish - they only have 46 shades of
These are most likely Bird's Nest Fungus, probably of the GenusCrucibulum
of the Family Nidulariaceae
(I don't really know - and as I'm not eating any of it, it's close
Lichens are all over - littering the ground like newspapers in
big cities. This is most likely one of the Lobaria
pulmonaria. Back in the day, learned people thought God had
provided us with everything we needed for happiness and left us
clues. Because this lichen sort of looked like a lung, it was used
to treat lung ailments. Since most of the time, people don't die
when they are sick, it was deemed effective. Until science. Damn
I dunno what this is, but the leaves (maybe 3" long by 1"
wide) are very pretty.
This is a Conk - a
Bracket Fungus. Our best guess was the droplets were water -
they weren't very viscous - but again, Keely refused to determine
if they were poisonous or not.
These little blue flowers were the only things that weren't white
or green. No idea as to what they are, as Google is useless when
you enter "Little blue flower" as a search term.
Oh, man. Fungi terrify me as there is little difference between
tasty and deadly, but this little bugger is in a class of its own.
I wish I had more information for you, but doing a Google Image
Search on Clear White Fungus yields horrifying results.
To cleanse the pallet, an old favorite: Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum)
Here's a pile of moss - about as tall as my thigh, complete with
a fairy house. I've read enough that - no matter how tempting -
don't hit a fairy house with a stick.
By now, Darling had adjusted to her circumstance - she plowed over
this little bridge without even thinking.
Green Peak Falls - it's been raining a lot this winter, so the
falls are really flowing.
Time for a self timer. Nice family photo.
I wanted a shot to update my FaceBook profile, so I walked out
on the rocks. Keely took 3, but I liked this one the best, because
I am trying to grow a bread and it is damn itchy.
On the return trip, we got a nice shot of the rushing, rain swollen,
South Fork of the Alsea River
At the Day Use area, we were able to cross over to the other side
and get some pics of Alsea Falls itself. There was a shocking number
of people out and about - including the young couple who took this
picture for us.
Up closer to the falls, Keely and Darling.
This is a shot down the falls. That river be ragin' yo.
We finished the day with a visit to Deb's Diner in Alsea. Nice
place. If you get out that way, stop in, they could probably use