Little River Waterfalls

I took a trip up Little River to met up with Cooper Franklin and we hit some old favorites.

(This trip happened a couple weeks before the prior post.)

First off, we hit a waterfall I partially found a few years before, though I never explored it.

I first visited this waterfall back in 2012, after hearing the roar from the trial and realizing it wasn't the known waterfall. That time, I didn't think it would be worthwhile to climb down to see it from below, nor did I realize it wouldn't be hard. Turns out, I was wrong and it's a nice little waterfall. Also turns out that there was a re-naturalized path down to it. The path looked like it had grown over or been covered up at some point.

Clover Falls is a nice waterfall that is receptive to photography.

Looking back through my older pictures, I could not tell if this log had fallen between trips or if it was like this then.

This little slide fall is always nice. There's a smaller one a ways above this one, but it's not the most interesting and it takes some time to get to, so we skipped it.

This one is pretty nice and would be a really photogenic waterfall under the right conditions.

Just down from that one was this. We stood atop this waterfall and I surveyed my lidar map. It showed what looked like a large waterfall between here and the road, though neither of us had remembered one being in there. So, we headed down, then started making our way back up the creek.

This spot looked really familiar to me.

There are some really pretty spots through here.

This reminded us a bit of a tiny version of the Devil's Staircase (Link 1 and Link 2.). This was also about 30' upstream from where my wife and I were 8 years prior. We turned around after I fell through a rotten log and got a concussion.

This trek wasn't challenging, but it was really pleasant.

According to a waypoint on my GPS and the LIDAR map, this is where a large waterfall should be. Behind that tree, you can see a sandy wall. Turns out, that's the large cliff on the LIDAR map, though the creek doesn't go over it. Like any tool, proper use comes with practice.

This unnamed waterfall is really nice, though it takes some time to head back into.

We made our way back through the brush and headed out. This was a really fun trip and I enjoyed meeting Cooper, who is a heck of a hiker.

I believe this is a type of geranium, probably Herb Robert.

Some tiny orange bits of mold. Guess they could be fungus, though.


Little River Area Madness

I took a break from hunting caves and rock formations and went after some waterfalls.  This change felt good.  Read more


Emile Creek Return - Macros

This is the word-lite post containing the macro shots from the Return to Emile Creek.

A Pacific tree frog partway between brown coloration and green.

This tiny spiderweb initially caught my eye because I thought it was slime mold.

Down there in the yellow circle.

Here are some flowers:

Same flower. Beauty is all a matter of perspective.

Now for some mushrooms:

Light off, light on.

Here is the size of that mushroom.

It's down there somewhere.

The resemblance between this mushroom and Dumb Donald from the old Fat Albert cartoon is uncanny.


Return to Emile Creek

To get back in the swing of things, I took at trip up Emile Creek to find a new waterfall. Or was it...?

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Return to Topinka Falls

I took a hike back into Topinka Falls and it reminded me why it's such a great place.
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Emile Creek Exploration and Flagstone Falls

I hit a couple small waterfalls on Emile Creek and I ran down a tall one elsewhere that could open up another adventure later on.

Emile Creek is a small but rugged place. Much of it sits within a disjointed canyon, making the whole of it difficult to traverse. It is manageable in smaller chunks, however.

Here are links to the prior 3 trips, if anyone needs a refresher:

Emile Falls
Emile Creek - Trip 2
A Tale of Two Falls

I had pinpointed two small waterfalls along the creek to traipse into. On a cool and soggy day, I headed into the forest.

Here's a trillium I found near the creek.

This is the first waterfall. There was a clearer vantage a bit further down the creek, but it really wasn't worth plowing through the brush for.

Looking down the waterfall. It's a bit bigger than the first picture makes it out to be, probably in the 15-20' range. It looks less than 10' tall in that first picture, barely above a cascade.

This was on the stretch right before the next waterfall.

Yep. Another tiny one.

Small but nice nice looking. My Nikon AW100 has just a little bit of zoom.

From where I took that first picture of the falls, I looked into a pool and saw two long, pinkish tubes. While the water moved gently in the pool, I noticed them moving under their own power...

Two nightcrawlers swimming in the creek. Strange.

Also right in that same spot was this quartzy "growth" in the rock. At first, I thought it was some sort of substance that had been released from a living animal. Or that it used to be living itself. Instead, it was extremely hard and seemed to be a type of quartz.

At that point, I grew tired of plowing through wet brush in the cold to hunt down mini-falls. I hopped back in the car and looked at my car's GPS to see what trouble I could get into that was close by. The time estimate was not outlandish to get to a place I had always been curious about.

Flagstone Falls is across a gully from Flagstone Peak that sits a ways south of Quartz Mountain. There isn't much interesting water-wise in this entire stretch, so I've never really felt froggy enough to jump to it. After scooting along a iffy road for a while, I came to a downed tree and got out to hoof it the last 1/4 mile and saw this:

Not a very powerful waterfall, but there's something interesting about it, though I can't put my finger on it. It's also very tall, as the first tier measures out on Google Earth between 150-175'. The second tier measures out between 200-225'. That said, it's tough to know exactly where the second tier ends, as it continues to drop a ways below the tree line.

At some point, hopefully this upcoming summer, I'll head in and try to get a closer look at that larger upper tier.


A Tale of Two Falls

I had been curious about an obscure waterfall on the south side of the North Umpqua River for quite a while and decided to hunt it down.

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Willow Creek Return

I took a hike back up to Willow Creek with the goal in mind being to get better pictures of the upper waterfalls. The main idea this time was to hit the last waterfall before the sun did. It is located in the Grotto Falls/Lookout Mountain/Emile area of the Little River drainage.

The picture numbers are all out of order because I went quickly up, then took my time on the way down. This is almost always opposite of my usual approach. They are presented in order of the direction of the creek, with bugs and flowers at the end. The locations look very different due to the weather being very different than any of my other trips.

Here is the first unnamed waterfall:

This waterfall has never impressed me much. But lower water and some sun has changed my perception a bit.

Unnamed waterfall #2. Prettiest waterfall I've seen. I took color pictures, but they turned out identical to ones in the past.

This might be the coolest spot I've ever been where there is not one special feature.

Just below that smaller tree in the center, you can see a...

...spider web way off the ground (just above center). It is quite impressive for a spider to tie off a web that high up and from trees that far apart. Funny enough, I couldn't see it from the other side. It was basically invisible without the sun behind it. Sometimes, I think those spiders actually know what they're doing. At the same time, flies see the world completely different than we do, so who knows...

The side-view of #3.

The ever-troublesome logs at waterfall #3 made me think a little this time. This is the lowest the water has been on any of my trips. Usually, this fall is more power than pretty. Today, it was the other way around and I began lamenting those logs more than I usually do. So, I decided to take them out.

Now you see them...

...aaaaaand...

...now you don't.

No, I didn't physically move them. Nor did I Photoshop them out. Instead, I crawled along the bottom half of a rotting log (seen as the only horizontal piece of wood above). I never thought of doing this before (and I probably shouldn't think of doing it again) because the water was so high that this would have caused me to miss half of the falls, horizontally. There is also the fact that it is pretty risky, as I have no idea how long the bottom half of that log will last while I was there. It is only early spring in the Pacific Northwest and we're already experiencing mid-summer water levels.

The creek shot and cascade are right along the same spot between #3 and #4.

I am upfront in admitting that I'm terrible at estimating height and the topographic maps aren't always overly helpful at doing anything more than general guesstimates. The pictures have a bit of fore-shortening, making this waterfall seem shorter than it is. In person, it is quite tall and the rock face which wraps around the surrounding cliff is impressive. My guess is that it's in the 120' range, which is about twice as tall as anything else on this creek. Oddly enough, the topographic lines for this exact spot show a only show an uptick in height, not a cliff.

I remember the climb up and around this waterfall to be more severe, but it isn't bad at all.

The last fall on the creek. The goal was to get here before the sun blasted it, which is what happened last time. It kinda did this time, but not too badly. I'd like to visit this fall during cloudy conditions. I did a black and white because that often hides flaws the photographer can't hide by framing. Of the two black and white waterfall photos on this post, there is a difference. This one is high contrast while the earlier one is low contrast. You use high contrast most often to make an ugly scene more appealing, while low contrast is used to make a scene that is already pretty that much more so.

On the hike back down, I spent much of my time looking for salamanders.

After a while, it got tired of my nonsense and took off. I couldn't see the screen at all while shooting, so I just pointed and hoped.

This last one turned out a bit creepy if you ask me. "Soon..."

Once I hit the 3rd fall on the way up, I remembered to remind myself to grab the bug spray before I left the car. Thankfully, I only saw a couple mosquitoes. Unfortunately, gnats were everywhere:

This was taken from atop a boulder looking down into a levitating sea of accidental protein and I took it only to show the yuckyness of the swarm. Funny enough, I captured something else:

For a while, images like this were thought to be photographs of hyper-fast insects called "rods" or "skyfish". They were once a paranormal/cryptozoological mainstay of the late '90s/early '00s, featured on the classic show Sightings, among others back when Discovery Channel actually discovered things other than reality TV shows. Instead of being long insects faster than any creature on the planet which had thus far escaped empirical scientific proof, research and logic has proven them to be artifacts of shutter speeds.

A western trillium I found while climbing up and past the tallest waterfall. This was at the steepest point and where there was no protection if I slipped, but, hey, I'm easily distracted by trilliums.

There were clusters of placings of these stream violets.

This is a netwing beetle and it is a couple inches long.

This is a type of dobsonfly. The big type. It was probably 3-4 inches long. I saw it crawling on that reddish rock. It came out of the water, then went back underneath a ways down and stayed there. You could see its head turn back and forth as it looked for a meal and/or predators. Very common, but also quite cool.


Little River

This was a trip I took up Little River to Little River Rock back in December 2012.

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Hemlock Creek and Yakso Falls

I recently took two trips to Hemlock Creek, specifically the trail that leads between Hemlock Lake and Lake in the Woods. It's the first time I'd been back since this trip 2 years ago.

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