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Central Oregon...Spectacular!

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Central Oregon...Spectacular!

Postby mountaineer » Sat Aug 04, 2007 9:52 am

Just returned last week from a short family trip to Oregon. Didn't get away from the road too far but still had a couple of cool photo ops.

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mountaineer
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Postby Hikin Mike » Sat Aug 04, 2007 4:42 pm

Nothing wrong with staying close to the car...I do it all the time! :unibrow:
Nice photos, Jody!
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Postby dave54 » Sun Aug 05, 2007 9:12 pm

You're getting me all anxious.

We are planning to stretch the Labor Day weekend into 4-5 days, maybe heading up to K-Falls and paddling around the canoe trails. Of course it will late summer of a drought year, so we are not sure how much water will be left by then...
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Postby mountaineer » Sun Aug 05, 2007 9:22 pm

Klamath Lake was full and the streams/rivers in the area looked like they will be passable for a while. Of course, a lot can happen between now and then. Hope it works out for you.
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Postby dave54 » Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:54 pm

It figures!!

The weather in the area has been great for weeks, and now the forecast for the K-Falls area is cooler and windy.

Loading up some of the gear tonight. According to the FS office in K-Falls the water level is low but still navigable. We'll see.
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Postby dave54 » Wed Sep 05, 2007 8:45 pm

Great trip. The weather was warm, bordering on hot, and no wind to speak of. The morning paddling was glassy smooth.

Stayed at a Winema NF CG on the lakeshore, called Odessa CG. The CG was empty except for us. Surprising for a 3 day weekend.

One end of the canoe trail is at a fairly well developed resort area called Rocky Point. Quite a few craft in the vicinity of the resort, and the powerboats did not make any attempt at reducing their wake while passing by mere paddlers. However, as you get further away from the resort, and further up the river channel that comprises the trail, the number of other users diminishes sharply. The channel meanders through a marsh, with continuous thickets of tule and cattails on either side. Ample wildlife. Waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds. The other end of the designated trail is at a primitive rec site called Malone Springs. Saw only a handful of other paddlers on the river that day, mostly 'yaks.

Further up the river from Malone Springs is another picnic site called Crystal Springs. The canoe trail is not marked as extending to Crystal Springs, but the description of the site says canoeing is open there. So my wife and I decided to paddle up the river past Malone to Crystal.

The river channel on this upper portion is narrower and has a noticeable current. The wocus, smartweed, and duckweed grow profusely in the water, often leaving a narrow band of clear water only a few feet wide for us to navigate through with a 16' canoe. But this section had a lot more wildlife, and did not seem as skittish, and a greater variety of vegetation (more willow, alder, and where the ground was firmer a few pine and aspen were present). The designated trail has the usual assortment of trash and bottles in the water, whereas on the upper portion of the river there was none. Nor any sign on shore of human use. Really pristine. Did not see another person on this section of river.

While still about 1/2 mile from Crystal Springs, we noticed the back of a sign in the water, severely weathered, and scarcely visibly in the vegetation. As we passed the sign and looked back at at it we read "National Wildlife Refuge. Public Entry Prohibited". No wonder that section of river looked so clean and pristine. We were paddling in a closed area. Oh well. If the Refuge staff wanted us to stay out they would have signed it better, and listed the closure on the website and the downloadable map.

We ate lunch, and paddled back (much easier with the current). Past the closed area sign we saw earlier, and back to our launch point. More wildlife on the trip downstream -- two sandhill cranes launched from a grassy area on the shore and sailed directly over us only (seemingly) a few feet over our heads. Adult otter with 2 young, and a small flock of belted kingfishers (they normally are solitary?). A female cinnamon teal and her young quickly darted into the wocus, then she played the cripple routine to lure us downstream away from her young, still hidden in the thicket. We obliged and followed her.

Tuesday morning arrived cold, windy, and rainy, so we did not go on the water. Instead, broke camp early and drove home. In the late afternoon each day we drove around the area looking for potential dispersed camping spots (found a few) and went looking for a few geocaches in the area.

Heading down Hwy 139, between Adin and Eagle Lake, we saw a huge smoke column rising from what looked like the vicinity of where we live. A couple of cell phones calls to my daughter confirmed the Moonlight Fire, while close to home, was not threatening town.
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