Mt. Jefferson Wilderness – Coffin Lookout Trail #3392


mt. Jefferson Wilderness Coffin Lookout Trail

July 5, 2012

Info: (from Jenn’s Hiking book – Oregon Hiking) From a distance, it’s easy to see how Coffin Mountain got its name. This square and prominent peak atop a wall of cliffs certainly resembles a giant’s final resting place, but those cliffs are deceptive; along the backside, an easy trail climbs to a staffed lookout tower – a 16 square foot box that, if you’re lucky, you may be able to visit. You’ll see why these five towers are still staffed on the way up; the trail passes through an old burn being repopulated by young noble fir and sub-alpine fir. From the trailhead, follow the old bulldozer road and finally trail up 1.5 miles to the peak.

Directions: Drive east of Salem 69 miles on OR 22. It’s about 21 miles from the Detroit Ranger Station (EAST). Turn rt on Road 11 – Straight Creek Road. Travel for about 4 miles to forest road 1168 (Do not turn at first 1168 junction). Turn right on road 1168, travel for about 3.5 miles to trailhead.

User Groups:Hikers, dogs, and mountain bikes. No horses allowed. No wheelchair facilities. 😦

Jenn’s View: I think this is my favorite so far for 2012. You have such a great view of the whole Cascades. It’s so nice. You see Three Sisters, Three Finger Jack, Mt. Bachelor (?), Mt. Jefferson. It’s so quiet and great. I had to find a different way to get up there since I frickin hit snow!

Mt. Jefferson Wilderness - Coffin Lookout Trail

I started slipping and sliding all over the place but I THOUGHT I could get around it. Dang it, not Superwoman! I just realized that Shadowlynn absolutely LOVES snow. She was jumping, running and eating the snow. It was so comical and then it just hit me – stupid dog hates water and she’s part LAB!

Mt. Jefferson Wilderness - Coffin Lookout Trail

WAIT! I need to start from the beginning. Shadowlynn and snow is like in the middle of my hike. LOL. OK OK, The trail was really easy to find. First thing when I get out of the car, I got bombarded with bugs. I did have a pretty blue moth land on my shoe and as soon as I moved, it flew away. I took my bug spray and sprayed my hair, arms, face, legs. DAMMIT! I forgot my hands and I now have 4 new bug bites. But I’m not really sure if that was from last night from 4th of July and standing outside in the dark. They seem to migrate towards me no matter how much garlic pills I take. I’m still gonna take them cuz I’m gonna do more camping/hiking through the summer. 🙂 It worked all the years I have done it but this year – the bugs are in masses and they attack!

So, I’m not really sure why it’s called Coffin Mountain. Above it states that it looks like a giant’s resting place. I don’t see it. I truly don’t, so I must be blind. he he. If you see it, please let me know.

OK…In the beginning…. The drive up to the trail was magnificent. You immediately see the Cascade mountain ranges and they are beautiful! The first set I saw was Three Sisters and Three Finger Jack.

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I got back in my car and started up the road and low and behold, Mt. Jefferson and I think is Mt. Bachelor appeared.  The Mt. Bachelor is the one I’m unsure. It’s too big to be Mt. Washington and Mt. Hood would be rather small to look at. Uhhhh what other mountain is close by? I could be wrong, be that’s rare. JUST KIDDING! OOOHHH OOOHH, also Bachelor Mountain trail is right next door – There it is! It’s Bachelor!

I noticed quite a few “camp spots” along the way. Or at least places where people stopped and created a fire pit.  Why would they just do that unless if they were camping. Kinda weird because it’s so close to the road. Maybe they were car camping. The views would be amazing though to wake up to.

Coffin Lookout Trail

Mt Jefferson Wilderness Coffin Mountain

My poor car…she’s really a city girl but I treat her like a country girl.

Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Bachelor

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So, finally got to the trail after “ooohhh-in and aaaahhhh-in” the drive. The trail starts already with a steady climb up… I think the temperature outside was maybe 80+ degrees. With Shadowlynn’s black fur and my black fur (hair), we get HOT fast! I normally bring my daughter’s white hankerchief but couldn’t find it in my pack. Oh well. Maybe that is why Shadowlynn and I kinda had a hard time with this small hike. It was just too darn hot BUT the visibility was so clear that I didn’t mind too much. There were quite a few wildflowers along the way. I bet this trail is soooo pretty in the spring when it’s really alive with color. I will add this trail to my list at the beginning of Spring for next year.

Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Coffin Lookout Trail

Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Coffin Lookout Trail

Shadowlynn sniffin’ the flowers

Mt. Jefferson Coffin Lookout Trail Mt. Jefferson Coffin Lookout Trail

On our way up we met a man with two dogs and a little girl (Sounds like a beginning of a joke). She looked like she was about 4 years old. Super duper cutey.  A little bit further, met two girls having lunch. When we passed them, they asked if that rock formation was the destination…I told them, “I think so”. They said, “Was afraid you would say that – looks hard to get up there”.  Coffin Lookout Trail Mt. Jefferson Coffin Lookout Trail I took a picture of the lovely hikers that were on the trail with me. The guy with the little girl stopped. It looked like they may have had lunch there too. They didn’t continue up the mountain because at one point, I think I saw them heading back down. Lunch

It was hard. The climb was short but hard in the heat. There were no more shade until you reached the top. But like I mentioned before, the views are amazing and they only get better! I’m hoping when I come back in the fall… I will see the meadow below just full of color. It would be such a great shot. Not sure if I like that hill in front of Jefferson though to be in the shot.

Mt. Jefferson

So, we are continuing on with the trail and it was pretty strange that we were heading AWAY from the rock formation. On top of the formation was some sort of radio tower, thinking that was gonna be part of the “Lookout” tower. I thought maybe there will be some sort of switchback that will lead me straight towards that rock formation. Nope, that’s when Shadowlynn and I ran into the snow.

Snow Snow I tried to climb over the snow but I just kept slippin and slidin’. I just kept thinking that I can do it but all I saw was even deeper snow and a steep hill that would hurt if I slid down. he he. So, needless to say, Shadowlynn and I decided to turn around. We started heading back and decided, let’s just scramble up to the top, no trail or not. Sheez, can’t get lost. It’s too open and you can see the main trail below. We headed for the radio tower.

Radio Tower I did see the two girls that I encountered earlier on their way up. I was gonna yell at them to follow me or turn around because of snow. Nope. I decided, they saw me and hopefully when they encounter the snow, they would just do what I did. :). When I reached the top of the hill and started heading for the tower, I did a quick look around and right behind me I see this………………………

Coffin Lookout Tower

OHHHH I felt like a little kid that just found a treasure! I was wondering why the trail was leading me away from what I thought was Coffin Mountain. We were heading towards the tower.  While I was taking pictures of the tower from here, I started getting bit by red ants. Damn thing has HUGE pincers. I killed one but like 10 ants took it’s place. I packed the camera away and RAN towards the tower. Duh, all I had to do was step IN the snow and the ants wouldn’t follow.  I was also trying to get coordinates from the GPS app I downloaded on my phone. Stupid thing won’t work. I’m telling you, I need GARMIN to sponsor my hikes and let me test some of their GPS hand held navigation systems and Coleman or OFF to let me review the best darn bug sprays for hikes.  LOL. Well, I can dream big. Well, if I’m dreaming – I would get PAID for each hike review I did. Sheez, wouldn’t that be nice! Get paid to do something you absolutely love. he he.

I started heading that way and noticed that there was a path in the snow that people have already created. It didn’t look fresh so I know the dad with the little girl wasn’t up here. The two girls were taking A LOT of breaks and was probably in the same spot I saw them when I started climbing towards the radio tower.

Snow trail Did I tell you, Shadowlynn LOVES the snow. Dumb dog – I hate the snow! he he

Mount Jefferson came into view a lot closer when we got to the tower. The views are simply breathtaking when you get up there. You can see EVERYWHERE. I saw a body of water and I assume that is Detroit Lake. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. I kinda looked inside the tower and it was pretty clean. The deck was made of composite wood – how do I know that? My ex owned a construction business building decks and this is what he mainly used. I know what screws to put in them and how to screw the hole deck down. That’s a whole different story.

The rocks that the Lookout tower was sitting on was pretty amazing. I still don’t see it looking like a coffin though.

Coffin Lookout Trail Coffin Lookout Tower Coffin Lookout Tower

Mt. Jefferson

When we got to the top, I finally got to look at Mt. Bachelor. I bet this mountain is gorgeous up close.

Mt. Bachelor

It’s late…It’s way past my bedtime and I have had a whole week + off from work. I have to start programming my body to go to bed early so I can get up around 6am. Maybe to exercise? Yeah right. I will post the pictures below as a slideshow so you can see extra pictures.  I am curious to find out how many of you out there that reads this blog, has stayed the night in one of these lookout towers? I think it would be pretty awesome and would like to get your take.. Leave me a message if you have stayed the night in a Lookout tower! Happy Hiking all!

Mt. Jefferson Coffin Lookout Trail

It’s Jenn! Wouldn’t be my blog without a picture of me! 🙂

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Oregon Beach – Pacific City / Cape Kiwanda


Cape Kiwanda

April 22, 2012

Info: Taken from the Oregon State Parks and Recreation site (

Cape Kiwanda is part of the Three Capes Scenic Route (along with Cape Meares and Cape Lookout). Kiwanda is the smallest of the three, but it’s one of the best places to experience spectacular wave action. Pacific City is the home of the Pacific Dory Fleet. South of Cape Kiwanda is the dory boat launching area. North of Cape Kiwanda to Tierra Del Mar is a stretch of beach popular with picnickers. Kiwanda provides great hang gliding and kite flying opportunities.

Vital stats
There is no fee to use this park. For information, call 1-800-551-6949.

Jenn’s View: Well, all I got to say is this is one my FAVORITE beaches to visit. We have a great way to exercise up the sand hill and/or Cape Kiwanda State Natural area and that’s a work out in itself. Places to sit and enjoy the views as you can tell from the above picture. Look at my hike in the Suislaw National Forest and this is minutes from these hikes. Go do those hikes and end in Pacific City for food and watch the sunset.

Shadowlynn enjoying the beach! Muffy enjoying the beach Jennifer Piol enjoying the beach

This is the day I did the two hikes above and decided to end the day at Pacific City. It is a popular beach so do expect a lot of people ON the beach. Cape Kiwanda wasn’t too bad. I still love it. This time I didn’t go with Scott :(. I really wanted to go to his house in Terrebonne but something came up so I decided to go by myself and find these hikes. I’m so happy I did. I did take Scott to Pacific City a few weekends later and he absolutely loves it. I absolutely loved it because I was with him….awwwwwwww….sappy, I know!

So, I changed shoes and decided to change into sand shoes… he he… No hiking shoes this time! I don’t know why these are sandshoes – I guess they dry quickly if they get wet but dang I ended with the whole darn beach IN my shoes.

Pacific City / Cape Kiwanda

Cape Kiwanda is hike up. Oh gosh…I was pretty tired after hiking a couple hikes and then trying to control the dogs to stay with me and not chase the people running down the hill. Shadowlynn is pretty scary when she goes after someone. She will get shot one of these days. Muffy is the instigator though!

Oregon Beach Oregon Beach Oregon Beach

Got some great shots while I was on the beach. My favorite shot is me sitting on the edge watching the ocean.

Oregon Beach

Oregon Beach

Oregon Beach

Maybe or maybe not, you can see the algae that is on the rocks. Well, when I was taking a picture of the cave, I slipped on the darn algae and almost fell in. That would be NOT good. Muffy and Shadowlynn may follow after me. Someone did see me slip and freaked out. He was being smart and said he may have had to jump in after me to save me….yea right!

Oregon Beach

See the sea of algae on the rocks. Be careful since it’s real slippery.

Sea of Algae

These are the shots that I got that almost made me fall in to the dark abyss of the water! And if you know me, I’m actually scared of the ocean. You know the sharks, giant squids, the UNKNOWN!

Oregon Beach

Oregon Beach Cave

Of course, I highly recommend this beach. Hopefully it’s not crowded for you all.  I’ve added more pictures below. Some were taken by my camera phone which isn’t all that great but oh well. I’m not claiming to be a professional photographer or even an amateur photographer!

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Oregon Coast – Tillamook County – Niagara Falls and Pheasant Creek Falls


Tillamook County, Niagara Falls Tillamook County - Pheasant Creek Falls

April 22, 2012

Info: taken from Trails NW website (

This is a short hike great for all seasons. If you are taking a trip to the coast and want to get a short hike in this is a great one. The two waterfalls at the end of the short trial rival those found in the Gorge or Silver Creek state park. From the Car Park the trail descends down the side of a creek bed to the confluence of Pheasant and Niagara creeks. The end of the trail is at the head of Niagara creek bed where both Niagra creek and pheasant creek plunge off of the cliff edge. The impressive thing about this trial is that both waterfalls are in the same spot, where the creeks come together.

Directions: From Highway 101 in Beaver:
Travel east on Blaine Road for 6 miles. At Blaine Junction go east on Upper Nestucca River Road for 5.8 miles to Forest Road 8533. Go south 4.3 miles to Forest Road 8533-131. Turn right at the junction and travel 0.7 miles to trailhead parking.

Jenn’s View: Great hike! Very easy and short and you are rewarded with two falls within yards of each other! Great hike for both the dogs! Shadowlynn and Muffy had an awesome time. The directions in my hiking book were WAAAAYYYY off. I did miss it by over 10 miles.  There are NO signs pointing to the falls and the road looks like it belongs on someone’s property. This is the only landmark I can find that MAY help you find this trail. The road after the blue building is the trail that leads to Clarence Creek Falls!

Tillamook County - Niagara Falls and Pheasant Creek Falls

I wish I wrote the coordinates down for ya’ll but hopefully this marker helps.  There is another sign that will indicate that you are on the right road.

Tillamook County - Suislaw National Forest

So, the road is all gravel. My poor car. It goes through so much abuse. I try to avoid all the pot holes or go real slow but you know how it is.

It’s pretty accurate about it being approximately 4 miles to the trail head. The road goes on forever and there is a fork in the road. The sign is small and skinny so be watching for it. It doesn’t indicate that it is Niagara Falls so I turned and sure enough, it was.

Niagara Falls - Suislaw National Forest

The trail is pretty and short. My puppies really enjoyed it, especially Muffy. I normally don’t bring Muffy with me cuz she is so small. I’m always afraid something will swoop down and grab her. The beginning of the trail

Shadowlynn on the trail

This is a great trail for families and all levels of fitness. It is not a difficult trail because they have alot of places to rest and the trail is not long. It is also NOT a busy trail so it’s quite a fun trail. Bring a lunch! There’s a picnic table at the end of the trail so it’s nice.

niagara Falls bench

There are a few bridges on this trail.

Huge plants at the creek. They were HUGE! If I had a pond, I would have at least one.

Niagara Falls plants

Wouldn’t be my blog without pictures of me. Started sweating and my hair on my head gets hot! LOL. EWWW. Told Scott that I need to put a bandana on my head. Scott says he will still date me, even if I look like an Asian Aunt Jemima!

Niagara Falls - Suislaw National Forest Niagara Falls Trail

The falls are awesome. It’s hard to take a picture of the falls because there really isn’t a place to set up to get the whole falls in the picture.  The first fall that you come to is the actual Niagara Falls

Tillamook County, Niagara Falls

Just down the path, you come to another fall…PHEASANT CREEK FALLS. It’s smaller but I bet during the summer, it is a bit bigger when the snow melts

There is a small picnic bench near Pheasant Creek Falls to have a picnic. You just need to hike to get there so no large coolers. he he

This was a great hike for family and kids. I would highly recommend this hike. I can’t wait to grab a map of the Suislaw National Forest so I can discover more trails. It’s not very far from Salem so I’m pretty stoked about it. hahahaha…stoked?

Please let me know if you have done this hike and what you think. Maybe I saw you on the trail that day? Let me know! If you are a blogger, send me your link!

I ended the day at Pacific City. It’s only about 20-30 minutes away so it was nice to end the day.

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Oregon Coast – Drift Creek Falls (#)


APRIL 15, 2012

Info: There is not much information on the Siuslaw National Forest site where this fall is at. You can check it out here: Here is a better description found on Portland Hikers Field Guide (

This hike offers something for everyone, a waterfall, a huge suspension bridge and a nice view of Coast Range forest. The trail is wide and well maintained. The only flaw may be that it’s elevation backwards; you have a nice stroll down, then you need to climb back out.

The trail starts by slabbing down a ridge toward the east. The trail is timbered in 50 year old regrowth, but there’s a nearby clear cut, visible through the trees. Together, they create an interesting study of the forest healing itself. After a bit, the trail reaches the end of the ridge, rounds it and heads back westward into a small side canyon. You may hear voices from across the way and soon you’ll see that the trail goes back down the other side of the valley, creating a charming little U turn with a couple of small bridges over trickling, seasonal creeks. Just past the U, there’s a trail junction. The uphill trail is an alternate route to the same place. It’s not as well maintained as the main trail and it provides (or curses you) with more elevation gain.

Continuing down the main trail, you’ll again round a ridge and start heading down to a larger stream. You’ll hear the water as you descend. Towards the bottom the trail gets into a marshy area that can be overgrown in the spring and summer. Watch out for stinging nettles here. That alternate route rejoins the main trail here, just before the trail reaches the stream. There’s a pretty safe area for kids to wade in the creek here, as well. The trail continues down the creek a bit, before crossing it on a decent sized bridge.

Beyond this upper bridge, the trail passes a few large trees and there’s another near miss with a fresher clear cut. Soon, you’ll come to “The” bridge. This suspension bridge kind of sneaks up on you. You crest a small knoll and suddenly you’ve arrived at one of the most interesting locations in the coast range. The creek we’ve been following suddenly plunges 75 feet into the Drift Creek Canyon and the trail stays level, spanning the 100 foot deep canyon by hanging from cables. It really has to be seen to be appreciated. At the far end of the bridge is a picnic table. The trail continues down to the bottom of the falls, but beyond the end of the bridge, it’s pretty treacherous, particularly in wet weather.

Directions: ( Highway 101 entry – Off Highway 101 south of Lincoln City, north of Salishan. Travel east on Drift Creek Road, right on South Drift Creek Road 1/4 mile. Turn left onto Forest Service Road 17. Stay on Forest Service Road 17 to trailhead, approximately, 10 miles. Highway 101/Highway 18 entry – At Highway 101/18 junction travel east 4.5 miles on Hwy 18. Travel south on Bear Creek County Road 3.5 miles. Continue straight 7 miles on Forest Service Road 17 to trailhead.

Jenn’s View: Great little trail. Round trip was about 3 miles. Great for the family. Don’t forget that there is a $5 Recreation Fee that you can fill out the envelope and drop off the moola at the beginning of the trail.  I wish I saw this fall before the landslide. It actually looked pretty cool. To the right was a picture of it prior to the landslide. I guess the landslide happened in Aug 2010? You can read more about it at Where the picture was taken from. There was also bathrooms located near the beginning of the trail which is always super duper nice!

Drift Creek Falls

Drift Creek Falls before the slide.

The path to the creek was actually quite pleasant. My 15 year old daughter, Alesia was wearing her UGG boots on the trail which really, I don’t know what she was thinking. She brought her boyfriend along, Logan and their baby – Jerome. Now Jerome is a child development project for school. He isn’t a real baby but he cries, needs to be fed on a schedule, and change his diaper. C’mon folks – let my 15 year old get pregnant? Yeah, right. LOL. I kick her butt.  Here the happy family poses at the first bridge that we came to. More pictures at the bridge. I think Logan and Scott took better pictures.  The first sign you come to, you can either take the high road or the low road….we chose the low road. The North loop is just that — a loop. You end up back at the trail near the second little bridge. We would get complaints from the kiddos if we had to go “extra” mileage if we really didn’t have to. I didn’t bring a subway sammich to take with us and the kids were getting hungry.  I guess we could have had Jerome’s baby bottle – oh wait – it’s fake.

  Drift Creek Falls sign  We got to the second “little” bridge and had a great opportunity to take pictures. Second little bridge on Drift Creek  Unfortunately, I forgot my tripod in the car (actually I didn’t – Alesia did! but that is such a whole lotta different story there). So the pictures were limited to just an “auto” shot.

Drift Creek Like I said, great place to take pictures.

Scott Wenger on little Bridge  Jennifer Piol and Alesia Hunter on Drift Creek  Alesia Hunter and Jerome at Drift Creek  After this bridge, you hike through more forest before hitting the BIG Suspension bridge. Drift Creek Wilderness We finally make it to the bridge. Scott made me nervous because he’s not much for heights but such a trooper —  he crossed it, despite Logan wiggling the bridge.

Drift Creek Falls Suspension Bridge  Drift Creek Falls Suspension Bridge  Drift Creek Falls Suspension Bridge  Drift Creek Falls Suspension Bridge Alesia and Logan were the first to brave the bridge…. They have no fear until they found out what’s really holding the bridge together – these little tiny pins. 🙂

Suspension Bridge with Logan and Alesia  Now, it’s really hard to take pictures of the ANYTHING when someone is bouncing on the bridge or trying to make it wiggle. Not sure what Logan was thinking – boys will be boys.

Drift Creek Falls

So proud of Scott for making it over the bridge.  Scott Wenger crossing the Suspension Bridge  Alesia being silly, as always. Alesia Hunter on Suspension Bridge Scott and I on the bridge!

Alesia and I started climbing down to get to the bottom of the rocks. Little did we know that there is an actual trail that leads to the bottom. Instead we took the muddy way.

Alesia Hunter at bottom of Drift Creek Falls

The suspension bridge looking up. Drift Creek Falls Suspension Bridge After hanging out for a little bit, we headed back. Clam chowder in Lincoln City actually sounded good but I think we were still talking about Subway Sandwiches. We didn’t want to eat anything heavy because we had steaks marinating in the refrigerator.

Siuslaw National Forest

All pictures for your viewing pleasure:

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Oregon Coast – Cannon Beach

February 19, 2012
Info: (taken from The City of Cannon Beach is located on the Pacific Northwest Coast of Oregon, 80 miles west of Portland and 25 miles south of Astoria, Cannon Beach is surrounded by the rugged natural beauty of forests, ocean beaches, and rivers. Only four miles in length, and with a population of 1,695, Cannon Beach is a popular and picturesque resort area, playing host to an estimated over 750,000 visitors annually. Although Cannon Beach was incorporated as a city in 1957, it has been occupied much longer: first by native cultures, and then, since the late 1800s, by American settlers. In 1806, Captain William Clark, of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, traveled south to our area in order to secure needed blubber from a whale beached near the mouth of Ecola Creek.
Jenn’s View: Are you kidding me? I love the beach. Living in Salem, I’m only approximately an hour away from Lincoln City. Cannon Beach is one of my favorite beach to visit. The little shops located downtown are so cute. Plus, you have Mo’s Famous Clam Chowder to warm up after walking on the beach. Scott and I got there a little late so we couldn’t do a hike around the area. I saw quite a few trails and hopefully when the weather is a bit warmer (I don’t care that it’s raining but I do care about the temperature) we can hit a few of them. So, I didn’t count this as a hike so there is no number next to the name.
So, before we left Mo’s, I wanted to get some tips on the web on how to take great beach photos. One of the suggestion was to get down low. Try to get a “crab view”. Here is my first shot of acting like a crab. I couldn’t get on my hands and knees because I really didn’t want to get soaked. It’s quite tilted.
Remember you can click on any pictures on the blog to make them bigger. 🙂  The sky was a bit misty and very grey. No color what-so-ever. Blah.  Amazingly enough, there were quite a few people out today. Probably because it was a holiday weekend. The congregated near Haystack because there was some sort of event going on.
Yup that’s my man! Good ol’ Scott Wenger.
Here is another attempt of crab view. A bit better.
So, we headed towards “The Rock” and was taking random pictures.
I swear, this seagull posed for the camera! I told him I wanted a side view, and he turned!
Scott’s camera phone is amazing! Took some great pictures…Now he needs to give it up!
Walking, we came across this amazing rock with tons of muscles, starfish, and anemone. I couldn’t get close enough because near the rock, it was pretty deep. Remember, I really didn’t want to get my shoes and socks soaking wet (It was bound to happen – I got my socks soaking wet BUT was wearing my REI wool socks!). Next time, I’ll bring galoshes.
 Took more “picturesque” pictures. Well, my rule of thumb – take 100 pictures and you’ll get at least 1 that is worth printing. LOL
We finally made it to the rock and there was some sort of event going on held by Department of Fish and Wildlife. It was pretty neat but there were quite a few people there.
He was getting sooooo sick of me taking pictures of him. He sounded like my kids. Just Kidding, Scott.
Scott went ahead of me and was taking pictures of all the starfish hanging on to dear life to this rock. It was simply amazing.
Glad he didn’t fall in!
OKAY, another “pretty” shot
Love the color and the reflection of the water. The water looks like glass.
Wouldn’t be my blog without a picture of me, right?
Go fly a kite! Best place to do it!
I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend going to the beach – any time of the year! One of these days, I want to see a lightening storm over the ocean or to see a true storm in the ocean.

Willamette Valley – Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge (#3)

Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge
March 20, 2010
 Info: (taken from the US Fish and Wildlife website Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge is located in the fertile Willamette Valley of northwestern Oregon . The Refuge is situated in open farmland near the eastern foothills of the Coast Range , with the broad Willamette Valley and the Cascade Mountains to the east. Elevations range from 185 to 414 feet msl. The Willamette Valley , with its mild, rainy winter climate, is an ideal environment for wintering waterfowl. The Refuge consists of 1,173 acres of cropland, which provide forage for wintering geese, 300 acres of forests, 550 acres of grasslands, 500 acres of shallow water seasonal wetlands and 35 acres of permanent open water. As with the other refuges within the Willamette Valley National Wildlife Complex, the primary management goal of Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge is to provide high quality wintering habitat for geese, especially the dusky Canada goose, to ensure healthy, viable goose populations while minimizing goose browse damage to crops on private agricultural lands.
The Baskett Slough NWR also provides habitat for a wide variety of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Populations of several endangered and threatened animal and plant species can be found on the refuge. Wildlife/wildlands observation, photography, hiking, and environmental education and interpretation are the major public use activities allowed on the Refuge.
Directions: (taken from my book: Oregon Hiking) From Salem, follow Highway 22 to Rickreall, turn north on US 99 West for 1.8 miles, and turn left on gravel Colville Road 1.4 miles to the trailhead lot on the right.
Jenn’s View: Great easy hike for the family and great views of the refuge. Tons of birds but need binoculars to see anything. I think the best part of this hike was that a winery was very close by ;)The beginning of my hiking adventures. I was just getting over the flu/cold, so an easy hike was in order. My girlfriend, Terri Jacobe, came along and had a blast. Most of the trails were closed and wouldn’t re-open until April. The trail to the view of the Baskett Slough was open, so that’s the one that we did.

The trail was a steady climb up but not at all difficult. You get great views of the Willamette Valley and the coast range when you hit the top. The loop is approximately 1.5 miles. Go straight on the wide grassy path for 0.5 mile and then left at the junction up grass-topped Baskett Butte for the view. (quote from my book) If the refuge is open, you can continue straight into the refuge through a white oak forest another 0.4 mile to a junction and an old barn colonized by darting swallows. Going right takes you to the shores of Morgan Lake, a 1.4 mile walk to a gate, where you can return via an old road for another mile back to the barn, passing a small pond of cattails and the nutria.

When we got to the top, Terri and I thought we saw what looked like vineyards….OOOHHHH, you should have seen the look on my face! I think I had a big fat grin on my face! We completed the walk on the trail.

Found a hollow tree and Terri dared me to go in. I’m not dumb, I know there are tons of bugs in she did it! Gotta love her!

Terri Jacobe being all silly

We hurried back down the trail to get back to my car so we can hunt for the winery. 🙂

Can you see the little ground squirrel? Well I think it’s a squirrel. He blends in pretty well in the grass

Well, I do recommend this hike for families. Wait for a nice clear day to see the Willamette Valley and the Coastal Range. Don’t do the hike in the rain because it gets pretty muddy and “sloushy” in some areas. The best part – go visit the winery! Sit on the porch and enjoy the views! I believe this was at Van Duzen Vineyard. What a great way to end the day though! I did end up buying a couple bottles of wine!

Terri Jacobe and I doing a little bit of wine tasting.
Around the corner was a sitting area.
The main goal of the picture was to show how pretty their tasting room is. NOT the big butt that dominates this picture.
I did end up picking up wine!

Since we were in a wine tasting mood, we hit another vineyard in West Salem area called Orchard Heights Winery. I love living around this area because of all the numerous vineyards that surrounds here! I haven’t hit them all, but one of these days, I will!