Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Quartzville Recreation Corridor & Back Country Byway

Monday and Tuesday
We left our nice boondocking spot west of Sisters about 9am heading towards the Quartzville Recreation Corridor and Back Country Byway. The east entry point is at the intersection of OR 22 and Straight Creek Road (FS 11).

Quartzville Rec. Corridor

The road, which is all paved, and well maintained, starts out as a narrow two lane road for a few miles, then changes to one lane with frequent turnouts for the majority of the drive, then changes back to two lanes past the Rocky Top Bridge.  There are no guardrails but if you're starting at this end, you're on the inside and not the cliff-side. It's a long way down from the road to the bottom.
There are a lot of rocky slopes along the road and, in places, the road is narrowed to one lane by small rock slides.  Some of the rocks which had tumbled across the road, but not over the cliff, were big enough that you sure wouldn't want to get hit by one.
A small rock slide over the road

 There were beautiful trees.
 And lots of wildflowers
 And waterfalls
Little waterfalls were everywhere

Disbursed camping rules vary a little depending whether your in the Willamette Forest on in the BLM administered portion of the Corridor. We found this great boondocking spot just across the "new" bridge from the Bridge #6 area. We're right on Quartzville Creek which is a National Wild and Scenic River.   44.57629  -122.30109

 Our campsite
 "old" Bridge #6

In 1969 there was a great flood in this area. "To observe the power of this flood, stop at Bridge #6 where you can still see the remains of the original concrete bridge. Imagine the water level and force needed to toss the old bridge aside."
 Quartzville Creek behind our campsite. The water is crystal clear. And colder then a well diggers arse, as they say.
 The "old" Bridge #6 in the background.
Recreational gold mining is a major attraction in this area. But not here!! Do you suppose they still shoot claim jumpers?

I Identified one more tree today, and learned more about another. The new one is the Red Alder. Learned something new.   The Western Redcedar isn't a true cedar, rather it's a false cedar. The word Redcedar is not separated into two words in order to let readers know this fact. If a Redcedar was a real cedar, it would be spelled Red Cedar.
Some Northwest Indians called the Redcedar "shabalup" meaning "dry underneath". The dense, frondlike branches shed rain much like an umbrella. This morning, when I let Gopher out first thing, it was raining. Again. Once more.  I stood under a nearby Redcedar and was perfectly dry. In fact, about two feet out from the trunk it was very dry, in spite of the all night heavy rain. The Indians were right.
The weather for most of Monday day wasn't too bad. Overcast but no measurable rain. The serious rain started in the evening and continued well into today. The last time we've seen sunshine was last Thursday, the 21st. The solar panels and batteries are really struggling to keep up. So far, I haven't had to use the generator, but nor have the batteries been able to fully charge.

 Free firewood. As long as you have a really big axe.

There is one "regular" campground in the area, administered by the BLM, called Yellowbottom. We took a look and can't imagine why anyone would actually want to pay money to stay there.  All along the road there are a limitless number of great boondocking spots right along the creek. If you were driving a 4WD vehicle, like the Siberian Tiger for instance, there are dozens of dirt FS roads to explore.  West of about the Rocky Top Bridge, where the creek ends and the Green Peter Reservoir starts, are lots of spots for the fisherman and boaters. Some people were camped on the shore with their boat parked right next to their campsite.
As an aside, there is no cell phone service in this area.

Some people camp in tents. This guy keeps his RV in a tent. At least most of it.

The weather was really gloomy this morning, Tuesday, so we decided to continue on in search of the sun. The rain forests are nice, in their own special way, but they are so dark, damp and gloomy. A few days is about enough for us.

Came across this piece of OR history on US 20.

This afternoon we are in the Santium Flat USFS campground on the Detroit Lake.  $7 for old folks. We were here during our '08 trip and remembered it for it's nice, opened sites right where the Santium River ends and the Detroit Lake begins. There is no privacy between sites, and there is some road noise during the day, but we need some sun.  Not today but hopefully tomorrow.


Donna K said...

Hope you got some sun my now. It has been a dreary June to be sure.
We had a nice sunny day here today with just right temperatures. Love the looks of that creek and Gopher appears to be enjoying it.

Jimbo said...

The weather here has gotten much better although there are t-storms and showers predicted for this weekend. However after that it is all sunshine.

It is also tough keeping batteries charged when you have a lot of big trees all around.

Love your pics!