Brice Creek - October 27, 2012
Coordinator Rheo Wheeler, narration and pictures by Bill Riley

On Saturday, October 27th, 2012, 11 friends of the Umpqua traveled north on I-5 to the Cottage Grove exit then East to hike on Brice Creek trail. We were missing Lois, who had higher priority commitments and Jane who had hiked the day before with John and Jennifer up Little River, East of Glide, where they found snow at about4,100 feet elevation.

We reached the start of the trail just before 1000 hrs. Rain had been forecast and for once it was right. This was my third hike to Brice Creek, the previous times being APR 2010 and FEB 2012 when we had snow both times. No snow this time and once we got into the timber the rain diminished. Just before the upper falls Teddy, a short legged Gorgy dog that John was "dog setting" spooked a bob cat which ran out of its shelter about 10 feet in front of John. It was the first time he had seen one in the wild. This time we did hike up to the lower falls which added a couple more miles to our hike.

Al's wife and Chuck, a World History teacher at Umpqua Community College were with us this trip. Both were marathon runners and told of their numerous experiences running in different parts of the states. Chuck also told about his trip to the South Island of New Zealand and Queensland, Australia. He also explained that the former University of Oregon Track Coach visited New Zealand back in the 1960's. While there he was invited to go "jogging", a new experience for the coach. Before long he realized he was physically out of shape so one of the older (70's) hiker said he knew a short cut back home. When the coach got back to Oregon he decided to introduce Jogging to Oregon and supposedly this is how it really got started.

Chuck said from his experience the people he met in New Zealand and Australia were definitely in much better shape physically than those he sees here in the states, especially on the UCC campus. Obesity is quite common here sadly.

Although we didn't see any snow this trip we did notice a lot of down timber and at one place towards the end of the hike it looked like one bridge had been completely washed out with lots of debris in the creek bed. We made it back to the parking lot in just under four hours.

Our hike leader Rheo briefed that the extended version of the hike would be about 10 miles, but according to her pedometer is was just over 9.1 miles which we did in just under four hours. We were all pretty wet by the end but it was hard to tell if it was from the rain or sweat. Another great day with lots of beautiful scenery of the creek, fern and huge old growth trees.


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