My good friend MaryAnne went with me on today’s hike! MA and I have known each other for about 13 years now (how can that be?!?). We were both working at the Employment Dept., in the veteran’s section, in a work study gig. We were both doing our prerequisite courses for nursing, and (strangely) both did a paper on Hansen’s disease, aka leprosy. We go way back. I was so excited when she said she wanted to go on a hike with me, so I said, “How about this Friday?!?” I regretted that a little later because I picked up a shift, and I’m working five 12-hour shifts in a week. D’oh!
We arrived at the trailhead – it was very easy to find. Right there at the beginning is the Alsea falls. You just have to walk a short distance off the main trail. We decided to save it for last, and just hit the trail.
The bridge crosses the South Fork Alsea River, which is really just a creek. MA and I were both dreaming of summertime and wading through this sweet little creek.
The trail was super muddy for the first 100 feet or so, but cleared up to be a nice path.
The moss gets me. Is it because I’m a native Oregonian? I mean, I’m no pluviophile by any means (I’m more of an oenophile, and we have some fantastic wine in Oregon!), but I do love that green, spongy moss.
Part of the trail was taped off, and it looks like they may have made a new trail. Maybe the old part eroded? No matter, as long as there’s a trail!
Little streams and bigger roots… and my friend, MA. She lead the way the whole time. She’s a go-getter!
We stopped here just to enjoy the water. We wondered if there were a lot of crawdads in the summer. There’s a fair amount of campsites nearby, and crawdads are a great summertime snack.
The path got really wide, looking more like a road…
And then we figured out why. There’s a road nearby, and more campsites!
While I took pictures of the bridge, MaryAnne hopped over to see the name of the campsite: McBee.
Green Peak Falls isn’t really on maps, at least not that I could find with a cursory search. It almost made it like a secret destination.
MA pointed out the wild ginger (the dark green, leafy bits)…
And I pointed out the sour grass. I don’t know what other people call it, but I was raised on the stuff! (Update: MaryAnne did some research and thinks it’s called wood sorrel.) That clover looking plant is very sour (and delicious, especially for kids). I imagine it must have a lot of vitamin c. Growing up, we ate it by the handfuls. Now as an adult, I ate some tentatively, not sure I had the right plant until I got the taste.
A cool tree remains, and some sloped ground. It was still pretty damp out, so we had to watch our footing at times.
Speaking of watching our footing! This was a bit more intimidating in person, but once we got going it was fine. We just had to step carefully and deliberately.
We made it to the Green Peak falls! My glasses fogged up nicely whenever I stopped, as you can see.
There were some steps and then mud and rocks, but we went down to the base of the falls.
This is a strange, almost striated and dark green moss. Also, surprisingly slippery.
A little waterfall slo-mo.
Look at this muppet of a tree! I will name him George…
Close up, it almost looks like you could comb this moss. It’s so delicate looking.
We made it back to Alsea Falls, which was very nice as well. What a great little hike! This really would be a nice place to camp at during the summer, although I’m not sure how robust the waterfalls will be when it’s hot. I’m glad MaryAnne and I got to do the hike together – that was the real treat.
Distance: 2.62 miles; Elevation Gain: 515 feet