A Mother's Day Hike: Drift Creek Falls
May 8, 2016

Drift Creek Falls is reached by a long and winding road, either from Highway 18 by Rose Lodge or from Highway 101 near Kernville. Either route is twisty, steep, and narrow.

When coming from the Rose Lodge side, the first thing you see is the covered bridge that used to cross Drift Creek. The new bridge is really cool - you'll see that later.

That shows a lot of trust. It's a 1.5 miles down to the falls and this guy just leaves his gear on his bike in the parking lot. We got there at 10:30a and there were four cars (plus this motorcycle) in the lot.

The dogs were raring to go.

We met Jim and Gloria and had a group shot taken by the announcement board ($5 day use pass required.)

Spring in on the Oregon coast is a very green time. The Pacific Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa) was in full bloom and seeding.

Look at those growth rings - a half inch per year. That's a tree producing environment.

When I said the dogs were raring to go, I meant it. They were pulling the whole time.

This is a very popular hike, lots of people and dogs on the trail. Getting there earlier rather than later is a good idea.

I've seen these called "sourgrass" (because of their taste) and, according to Wikipedia, they are of the Oxalis family, one of the many wood sorrels. They do taste sour because of their oxalic acid content. Not good for curing scurvy.

Darling is not comfortable on bridges. There are several on this hike.

Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) was just getting started. They are fun to eat, but I find them bland and mushy.

People off the trail. Part of me wishes them happy adventuring, another part hopes they don't make a mess.

Group shot on a bridge.

This is our first view of the Drift Creek Suspension Bridge - pretty impressive, all the way out here.

That's a nice group photo.

Here's the falls themselves - very pretty.

And that's just beautiful.

Nice shot of the bridge from below. That log across the creek seemed irresistible to people. Please be careful, it's 1.5 miles back to the car and help would have to arrive by helicopter. (Would I break my leg for a help ride? Maybe - I like riding in helicopters.)

Keely and I elected to get closer to the falls, and we had to traverse that big log to get there, and a rock scree after that.

Jim and Gloria stayed back, minding the dogs. Good choice.

That blob on the right is the nest of an American Dipper (aka: water ouzel.) It's a plain, gray bird that stands on rocks near rushing water. You'll be looking at it, and all the sudden, it disappears. It didn't fly away - where'd it go? Next thing, there it is, back on the rocks. It jumps in the water and walks around down there, hunting. The one here was feeding her young in the nest. Click the link, it's a good read.

More dogs showed up and Aurora got rambunctious

While waiting for everyone to gather up their stuff for the return trip, I saw this tiny butterfly, no more than 1/2" from wingtip to wingtip. No idea what it is - I'm not much of a bug person.

Nursery tree - even in death, there is life.

A shot of Keely as we cross the bridge again.

Near the top, these kids were playing in a stump. The little girl on the bottom was calling to her parents "Take a picture! Take a picture of me." I don't know if they did, but I did.

"Normal" people see a tree growing out of a hillside. I see what could become the prow of an Alaskan-style kayak.

And that's it - a great day outside.