KnorQ's Kitchen

Serial Hobbyist

Category: Hiking Pacific Northwest

Hike: Dry Creek Falls

Hiked Dry Creek Falls this past weekend. This is a 4.2 mile out and back hike that starts at the Oregon side of the Bridge of the Gods. The hike starts on Pacific Crest Trail headed taking you under a freeway overpass, past power lines all set to the tune of the highway traffic. As you get deeper into the hike the scene gets quieter and more scenic as you approach Dry Creek. Hang a right around 2 miles at the bridge junction and head a quarter mile up the creek to Dry Creek Falls. This is a pretty little hike with minimal elevation gain. We did not see many people along the trail on a very sunny Sunday afternoon.  Below are the wildflowers spotted along the trail in order of appearance (1) Not sure but I think it might be a sharp-lobed hepatica? (2) Trilium (3) Calypso Bulbosa – Fairy Slipper (4) Trilium (5)  NOID



Hike > Angels’ Rest

Saturday was a beautiful day to head up to  Angels’  Rest in the Columbia Gorge.  The 5mile RT trail was busy in the morning but so beautiful with lots of wild flowers in bloom.

Hike>Fall Creek Falls

We went on a hike to Fall Creek Falls on a beautiful day. Some pics:

Old leaf in the sun

walking down the fall creek fall trail




The falls!

Oregon Road Trips: Fall Creek Wilderness Area

Had a lovely time at Timber Butte Cabin in the Fall Creek Wilderness area of Willamette National Forest. We had the chance to explore some of the covered bridges of Lane County, the local reservoir and the town of Oakridge. Here are some snaps:

Charles in Fall Creek Resv

The Fall Creek Reservoir

Oakridge 1

The sun came out for a moment in Oakridge, OR


Some Sun in Oakridge

Charles in the Public House

A porter from Brewer's Union Local 180

Fall Creek Scence

Fall Creek

Unity Bridge

Unity Bridge - We visited 4 covered bridges in all

Fall Creek Fire Area

Fall Creek Fire Recovery Area

Fall Creek Fire Area 2

Fire recovery area

Oregon Roadtrips: Timber Butte Lookout Cabin

Char and I had a great get away to Timber Butte fire lookout cabin in the Fall Creek Wilderness east of Eugene. This cabin is a cozy, affordable treasure. It is not far from amenities but feels like it is tucked in the wilds — deep on unpaved forest road. We got there at dusk and the butte (at 3600 ft) was cloaked in clouds and fogs. We ate Bahn Mi that we picked up from An Xuyen Bakery drank some Jubelale and played dominoes and Yahtzee. The cabin has 360 degrees of windows and sits on the highest peak in the area but the cabin’s small squarefootage and workhorse stove keep the place cozy and warm. The next day we explored Lane County’s collection of covered bridges and the emptied reservoir. We also made it to the town of Oakridge where the sun peaked out for a moment as we sampled home-crafted Anglo beers from Brewers’ Union Local 180. At the pub we heard rumors of winter weather advisory — there was suppose to be overnight snow down to 1000 ft. We headed back up the hill to hunker down in our cabin for the night. We listened to tunes, ate mountain tacos, played dominoes, yahtzee attempted the Sunday NY Times crossword until almost 1:00 in the morning waiting for the snow to drop. Finally we tucked in the for the night only to awake at dawn to a blanket of whiteness.  Snow!!! We made some stumptown coffee, ate muffins with jam, talked about how the car would make it down the hill and made a snow pig. Fun. It turns out the snow did not fall past about 3400 feet so the trip home was smooth. We stopped off in Eugene for lunch at Keystone Cafe and made our way homeward. This cabin is such a treat and the area is consistently lush and beautiful. We can’t wait to return.

Charles in Fall Creek

We stopped for some snaps along the forest road on our way to the cabin

Lovely Fall Creek Stream

Insanely gorgeous area. Lots of bright yellow and red autumn colors and of course, green everywhere

Greenery in Fall Creek

Mossy Limbs!

inside timber butte lookout

Inside Timber Butte Cabin

Taco Dinner

Mountain Tacos. Nom nom nom.

Timber Butte Snow Exterior

On our second morning we awoke to snow

Mountain Snow Pig

So we made coffee and a mountain snow pig


Oregon Road Trip: Opal Creek

Matthew and I headed to Opal Creek a few weeks ago. Sweet little aquatic gem. Easy hike, swimming paradise (got one on hearst), and a loop trail through some old mining detritus. We wrapped it up with dinner at Elmer’s in Salem – they have quite the kincaid collection. Some pics:

On the way to the swim hole...

On the way to the swim hole...

Some dying trees

Some dying trees

Sweet little swim spot with waterfall in the background - opal creek

Sweet little swim spot with waterfall in the background - opal creek

Walk like ya ride a horse - this here is jawbone flats -- ol mining hole

Walk like ya ride a horse - this here is jawbone flats -- ol mining hole

There are a lot of neat old metal things at jawbone flats that have a cool patina

There are a lot of neat old metal things at jawbone flats that have a cool patina

Knob on an old fire truck

Knob on an old fire truck

Elmer's - home of obscenely large omlets and lots o tom kincaid prints

Elmer's - home of obscenely large omelets and lots o tom kincaid prints

Oregon Roadtrips> Long Beach Washington

Had a great weekend in Long Beach Washington. I had always wondered what was across the bridge from Astoria. This weekend I went exploring. After driving from Oregon over the Astoria-Megler Bridge I wound my way through the town of Ilwaco – past some cool murals – and arrived in Seaview where I stopped at Skookum Surf Co. to rent a bike. I got a rusty green cruiser and headed out for the Discovery Trail – a 9 mile paved trail that runs along the beach and features Lewis & Clark interpretive stops like whale bones and a bronze tree. This is a lovely, flat, relaxing ride through along a beach grass shore. Long Beach, known for its annual kite festival, was in true form — there were almost as many kites out as there were people which is not many. <p>

Tree along the Discovery Trail in Long Beach Washington

Tree along the Discovery Trail in Long Beach Washington

After my slow rusty ride I stopped in the Depot Restaurant. Its a spendy place to eat but it is very cozy inside and you can get a good bowl of chowder and a salad for $10. They have more gourmet options if you want to spend the money and I’ve heard good things about the food. After dinner I checked into my Falcon Airstream which was my sleeping accommodations for the evening at the historic Sou’wester Lodge. The Sou’wester is classic Seaview, WA. A bohemian lodge run by Mr. and Mrs. Atkins who offer rooms or lodging in a collection of old trailers. More about Sou’wester here. I stayed in the Potato Bug – a vintage Falcon Airstream with a little bed and bathroom — cozy in a dank, musty, yellowed pillow sort of way — bring your own bedding if you go. Below is a pic of what potato bug might have looked like in better days:

Vintage Airstream Falcon

Vintage Airstream Falcon

And here is Potato Bug in present day – interior shot:


I curled up in Potato Bug for the night with a trashy novel and got a good nights sleep. In the morn I headed to 42nd Street Cafe for breakfast. YUM. This place is good! Fresh food, good bread and jam. I cruised down to the tourist pit strip in long beach where there are ice cream, tshirt, taffy and kite shops and the crown jewel: Marshes Free Museum featuring Jake the AlligatorMan. I’d seen this guy’s mug on the back of a lot of bumpers in Oregon — his sticker is all over the place. Ah ha – now I see, he is a small reptilian half breed gathering dust behind glass while sharing shop space with a taxadermic wonderland, a ceramic menagerie of costumed animals, bins of taffy, creepy dolls, tshirts with howling wolves, shells of endangered sea life and vintage dime slot porn machines. Awesome. More pics of the of Marshes Free Museum in a later post.


Having had my fill of stuffed animals, I headed to the historic town of Oysterville where the prized Willapa Bay Oysters are harvested. Oysterville has a collection of cool old homes & buildings — including the oldest post office in the state of Washington. I checked out Leadbetter State Park – the desolate forested tip of the peninsula just past Oysterville that offers amazing bird watching. Also, took a trip to the pioneer cemetery in Nahcotta where there is a tombstone for Chief Nahcati who passed in 1864. The highlight of my jaunt to Oysterville was visiting Oysterville Sea Farms and meeting 3rd generation oyster farmer, Dan, who treated me to some shooters and a spin in Willapa Bay on Shannon Rose, trusty oyster boat. Thanks Dan!! After a spin on the bay, including a up close look at Long Island, we stopped by Dan’s neighbors’ home to check out their amazing Rhododendron garden – a beautifully done garden & pond. More about Oysterville in a future post.

Oysterville Sea Farms & WillaBay

Oysterville Sea Farms & WillaBay

Overall, this was a great trip. I plan on going back soon with my roadbike. This area lends itself to just my kind of bike riding — flat rides with little traffic near water with lots and lots of little nooks and crannies to explore. Plus, I want to go back and explore Cape Disapointment, fly a kite and take some surf lessons. I love this place.

Falls Creek Falls – At last

Finally made it on this hike and it was LOVELY. I’d tried going on this hike before.  Once it was snowed in and once I missed the turn and ended up heading on down the Wind River Hwy and on to another adventure.  This is a mellow and pretty hike along a rushing creek/river. (Rushing in May after a heat wave) The hike ends at what was a large raging waterfall with a perfect spot to sit and picnic just above its churning base. The hike is a very gradual up-hill and is perfect for people who like to get outdoors but are not in the mood for something grueling or do not have time for a long hike. We happened to catch it on an absolutely spectacular day and only saw two other couples on the entire trail.  I think this trail must get heavy use on the weekends.  I would advise to go early or go during the week to avoid any crowds — one of the most relaxing and rewarding hikes I’ve been on since I moved to Oregon but maybe it was just my mood.  One way to make a fun day trip out of this hike is to book a massage and hottub soak at the nearby Carson Hot Springs for after your hike.

Hike: Falls Creek Falls near Carson, WA

Distance: 3.4 Miles out and back on an often flat to gradually sloping incline. The trail follows a river and ends at an impressive waterfall.  Lots of opportunities to stop and picnic, including great rock seating near the falls.

Directions – I almost don’t want to say.  Its easy to find online. easy to find by car. Wind River Hwy just past carson fish hatchery to road 3062 (I think) then right on road 57.  There are signs.

The Falls:

There were many wildflowers along the path including Trillium, little purple flowers (?) and lots of pretty pink orchids.

Lyle Cherry Orchard Hike – Washington Gorge

Lyle Cherry Orchard
Distance: Approx. 6.5 miles RT
Elevation 1000 ft (guessing)

Description: Last weekend I went with a group of hikers to Lyle Cherry Orchard on the Washington side of the Columbia river gorge. The was an easy hike with a couple a steep climbs. The wildflowers were out and so was the poison oak! Poison oak everywhere below 1000 ft. and a couple hikers picked ticks off -Yuck. The hike climbs up a gentle hillside and offers great views of the Columbia River, The Dalles, Hood River and the mountain scape beyond. At one time, there was a Cherry Orchard i’m told. All that remains now is a few dying cherry trees that offer up some feeble blooms. Look for the native wildflowers if your looking for blooms. Lots of lupine, wallflowers, shooting stars and a few chocolate lily.
Directions: From Portland, take I-84 east to Hood River. Cross the Hood River Toll Bridge and turn right on Highway 14. Or take the lovely Bridge of the Gods and head up SR14 in Washington. Drive east through the towns of Bingen and Lyle. Just east of Lyle, you’ll drive through two tunnels. The trailhead is the first major turnout east of the tunnels.
Disclaimer: If you plan to go, double check distances and directions — I’m a lazy fact-checker.
Here is the group starting the hike:
Just past the tail head - Lyle Cherry Orchard
Small Valley with wildflowers, poison oak and cliffs that look out over the Columbia River Gorge:


Views, etc.

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Pup Creek Falls – Clackamas River Trail

Pup Creek Falls – Part of Clackamas River Trail
7.8 Miles
1200 or so elevation gain
Pup Creek Fall
Description: Easy hike with gradual elevation gain- the hike will get your heart pumping in a couple areas but mostly a mellow hike along the Clackamas River with some opportunities to splash around in the river during the right time of year. April 20, 2008 the river was too fast and too cold for me to play in it. Just on the other side of the river is the highway – a slight drawback to this hike as you will hear the Harleys revving by. But for the most part a lovely little hike. Hike to a 3 tiered waterfall and back. The lichen on the wall of the waterfall and the limey moss-covered trees are truly gorgeous. There is the opportunity to continue on the trail if you want a longer hike. I got to the site at 9:00am; by the time I returned from hiking the parking lot was full. Appears to be a popular spot.
Directions: OR 224 southeast 16 miles past Estacada. Cross 2 large, steel bridges. Right onto Fish Creek Rd. Drive past Fish Creek Campground. Cross another bridge. Park in lot on R.
Disclaimer: You might want to do a google search to double check directions, distance and elevation. I report to the best of my ability but I’m not a fact checker – do your research.