Soda Springs to Jessie Wright Section of the North Umpqua Trail - April 26, 2014
Coordinator Lois Soulia, narration by Lois Soulia and pictures by Bill Riley and Valerie Johnson
On April 26, 2014, there was a huge turnout for the hike, 23 hikers in all accompanied by 2 dogs. Gathering hikers as they traveled east on Hyw. 138, shuttle vehicles were left across Marster’s Bridge rather than parking along 138 as had been the custom. The decision to park close to the bridge where the road to Twin Lakes takes off was a good decision. Turning onto Medicine Creek Road, and then a left on the road down to the dam was interesting and the dam is impressive. No fish visible.
It was really two hikes in one. The long hikers, 12 in all, started at the Soda Springs trailhead, just past the dam. Surprisingly, the trail was still visible although it had been mostly unused for at least 3 years. Then they turned on to the Bradley trail and trudged on up to Pine Bench , hiking along the bench to the spring and the viewing rocks with the wonderful views of the Boulder Creek drainage. After lunch with a view, the hikers backtracked to the little spur trail which goes down to the Jessie Wright section and Marster’s Bridge. That zig-zag trail with its southern exposure had lots of poison oak with its shiny-red malevolent leaves lurking close to the trail to spread its awful consequences to the unwary. The long hikers racked up about 7.43 miles.
Meanwhile, back at the short hikers, After enjoying the basalt colonnades formations and the wonderful views of the river in its rapturous escape from the dam’s impoundment, the remaining 11 hikers followed the road past the dam area until it turned into the trail which leads over the Boulder Creek Bridge and to the Eagle Creek bridge for which the club donated money to build, where they ate lunch. The hike would have been stopped if the bridge had not been built because without it, it would have been a dangerous crossing. They investigated two caves (over-hangs) and came out at Marster’s Bridge. The short hikers did about 5 miles.
It worked well to have two choices in regard to length, and difficulty and the hikers were pretty evenly divided between the two. It was wonderful to have our Jane with us. There were several new people. John found a way to get really wet. John and Jim Paris were very helpful leading the long hike. The weather was really super, just right for hiking.
Roseburg Oregon Hiking Club