6-30-10 Hemlock Creek

I was searching around on topo maps and found a twin set of tall, unnamed waterfalls and difficult to get to.  Possibly due to my insolence for even attempting this, Mother Nature drew first blood.

There aren't any roads very close by and no marked trails.  But, it has twin falls spread 200 feet apart and both are at least 400' high.  Probably worth an adventure.  After misreading the map and becoming a tad lost, I stumbled upon a goldmine of an area.  Visible from the road, it looks like the typical pretty little creek found fairly regularly in the Umpqua National Forest.  But there was more to offer than just what was you could see from behind a seat belt.

I creek hopped up this section of the creek for a ways.  It's tough to stop when every time you look up, it's more beautiful and diverse than what you have already climbed past.  Back to the car and I headed to where it all went wrong before.  I sat at a 3-way intersection and compared the paper map, the Garmin, the topo software on the netbook, and my intuition.  The other three were in total agreement that I am spotty at telling difference between "Right" and "South." Who knew!?! This is the road I needed to take:

Seems that road has been closed for a while, though not marked as such on any map.  It otherwise would be a major connecting point between two important roads.  I took a walk up this just a bit to see what was beyond and the whole stretch was like this.  You may notice the smaller, greyish tree laying across the former road.  I did too.  What I did not pay any attention to was the second tree just on the other side of it...I stood up as I cleared the first log and bashed my head on the second log.  It hurt a bit, but I kept walking until I noticed the top of my head feeling quite warm.  I wiped my hand up there and it was pretty bloody.  Of course, I kept walking for a bit.  After another minute or so, I realized this may not be the best course of action, so I turned back.

After what felt like a gallon of blood spilled, I hopped into the car, nearly defeated for the day and in need of 7 staples.  You may notice I said "nearly defeated."  On the way back to civilization, I came across this:

And we go from "cute" to "wow" in a second filled with 8,000 of its little heartbeats:

The funny thing was that I really could only see the last little bit on the right of the preview screen on the camera and just clicked the shutter a couple times randomly.  I was very pleased after I got home from urgent care and checked the photos.

Though battered and bruised, I felt highly victorious.  Not only did I find a great little spot to explore, but I got a nice shot of a rabbit.  7 staples and a tetanus shot later, I am ready for Round 2 and another route to the mysterious falls.  The game is afoot!

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