Thursday, July 2, 2009

Old Growth Forest

Our morning was bright and sunny at the campground, so you can imagine our surprise as soon as we turned onto US 101, a mere half mile away, and we saw the fog the Oregon coast is so renowned for. It was so thick, the ocean was completely obliterated.  Well, to say the least, we were impressed.

Gene had found two short hikes for us today.  One was another short segment along the Oregon Coastal trail and the other was a short nature walk through old growth forest.  Since the forest walk was away from the coast, we went there first hoping to give the sun some time to do its thing and burn the fog off.

The Shrader Old Growth Trail in the Siskiyou National Forest was a real treat.  Given the fact that so much of our forests have been cut by the lumber industry, we seldom have the opportunity to walk among the old giants.  It was a short 1.5 mile loop trail, but we got to see several big trees.  The most impressive was the Laddie Gale Tall Fir measuring 10 feet in diameter and 220 feet in height.  That is enough tree to build three 3-bedroom homes.

By the time we got back to US101, I really expected the fog to be gone.  Well, I was wrong.  It had pulled back a little, but not enough.  We drove farther south to Cape Sebastian where we found our trailhead at the very edge of the fog.  There were no sweeping vistas today along the trail, but I liked the effect of the fog along the rocky coastline.  The wildflowers were pretty; we saw several tiger lilies, a couple of wild iris, and a new one for us which we have not yet been able to identify.  This section of the Oregon Coastal Trail, like the piece we did a few days ago, was well maintained--a very pleasant hike.

There are several activities planned for the 4th of July in the town of  Port Orford.  We want to be able to take in some of those activities, so we will use tomorrow to do laundry and the few things needed to prepare us for moving on Sunday.  And who knows, we may find something exciting to do besides chores.

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