I learned some things on this hike… Lesson Number One: Download the map of the hike before you lose reception. In fact, download it at home the night before just to be on the safe side.
This was my first solo hike in an unknown area that I had to drive to. I mean, I grew up in the woods and explored a bit. I’ve lived near hiking areas and hiked there. I’ve gone to Spencer Butte, which is close to home. But this was my first solo hike where I had to drive more than 20 miles, use a map (or my phone) to get there, never been there before… and then just go wandering in the mountains. I felt brave.
Not the best map ever, but it does the trick…
It gets dark around 4:30 pm right now, so this was understandable. It made me think: I hope I don’t get lost!
One car in the parking lot – mine. There were other parking lots as well, all empty. One big truck came up to where I was, turned around and left.
Once I found the trail (I wasn’t 100% sure it was the right trailhead), I started off. The trail was clear and well maintained.
Shotgun Creek is a small creek that was really nice to walk beside. I would like to see this in the middle of winter after a bunch of rain. I’m sure it’s nice during the summer as well – probably a good, cool wading creek at that time.
I love how the ferns are just popping out of these trees!
This tree had so much moss on it – even more impressive in person. Somber, in a way.
Some of the path was rocky, some of it muddy. I had various trees and logs to step over, and one I had to dip under.
There were a lot of small tributaries or little streams that fed into Shotgun Creek.
This hike takes you away from the creek into an area that is densely packed with trees and vegetation. I am so grateful for the well-maintained trail. Be sure to pay the park fees if they call for them, because this is just one of the things that money goes toward!
So… a girl’s gotta pee. I have a “pee taco” ( It’s actually called a Venus to Mars Female Urination Device, and here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/Venus-Mars-Female-Urination-Camping/dp/B073THRWJM/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=mars+to+venus&qid=1639175635&sr=8-4 ). I have used it a few times and found it to be extremely helpful. In the woods or even at functions/places that have port-a-potties (Honey Bucket, etc.). It’s easy to use, easy to clean, and makes it so a gal doesn’t have to bear her backside to go pee. Which brings me to…
Lesson Number Two: When using the pee taco, tip it up so that you don’t pee on your shoes. BUT! Do NOT tip it up too far, because the pee may flow backwards to your butt crack and get pee on your pants. I’m not saying this happened to me. But I’m not saying it didn’t, either.
I’m not going to lie… I saw this dark area coming up and I thought, “If a witch comes out and offers me sweets, I’ll try to bargain for a burrito.”
There was something about this area that made me feel different. Thoughtful, dreamy, spiritual… I don’t know. But I liked it. In better weather, I may have had lunch here.
This was at the top of Drury Ridge. There was a split in the trail, and one part went here. This was not the trail to go on. I was on it for maybe a hundred paces, and I turned around. Something was not right here. I got back on the right trail and immediately felt better. I think, especially for women, intuition is important to pay attention to. Listen to your “gut.”
This may be my favorite picture. I knew it when I took the picture. Tall, straight trees, all packed together. It makes my eyes happy. Not so awesome during fire season, but pretty great right now.
I was happy to see this sign. Without GPS, I was “mostly” sure I was on the right path. This sign confirmed not only that I was on the right path, but that I was nearly done! The hike was beautiful, but I was getting hungry…
Behold! Shotgun Creek is once again to my left, which means I’m nearly finished with the loop!
I saw this at the end of my hike. Now, I am familiar with the information, but it’s still nice to see the warnings at the BEGINNING of the hike. Then again, maybe it’s good that I didn’t worry about it.
The end of the hike! Below are some pictures of some of the amenities this park offers.
I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the picnic tables. Nicely finished, not just worn and weathered tables.
These shelters also have two cooking areas at each end. This would be a great place to have a family reunion, a wedding reception, all kinds of things!
And it had a huge fireplace. HUGE. This place isn’t so far out of town that it becomes an all-day event to get there and back. Maybe I’ll stop by during the summer.