Dry Creek - August 14, 2015
Coordinator, narration and pictures by Richard O'Neill

This hike up Dry Creek is a South Coast Strider favorite and I've hiked with them the last two years and this trailless hike has fast become one of my favorites. Apparently, I've been preaching the gospel of Dry Creek because I was enlisted to lead a Friends of the Umpqua hike there.

On a pleasantly sunny day, 11 of us disembarked from our vehicles at a pull out above the Sixes River. There were a lot of surprised looks when I pulled out a 60 foot rope out of the trunk. I may have forgotten to mention we had to semi-rappel down to the river.

At any rate, once we were all down at the river's edge, we waded across and slightly downstream, giving us all a taste of things to come. Where Dry Creek met the Sixes, we turned into the creek's channel and it was living up to its name as it was quite dry and the rocks baked us like a pailful of oysters.

My followers were quite dubious about the Dry Creek venture as for the first mile and a half it was walking on the dry rocks with thick brush flanking the creek. But soon, the odd big-leaf maple began making an appearance and the air seemed cooler and fresher. And as promised, right at the Grassy Knob Boundary, deep pools of water began showing up. After a lunch underneath the bridge denoting the boundary, the wet portion of Dry Creek began.

As we splashed up the creek, the canyon narrowed, maples provided ample shade as they gracefully arced over the creek, and frogs hopped in panic at our arrival. The creek was full of newts and we had to watch our step to avoid stepping on them. We also saw a garter snake or two swimming in the tranquil creek.

Since there was no destination, per se, hikers turned around when they felt they had walked far enough. Everybody enjoyed the hike (I think!) and I certainly enjoyed sharing one of my favorites.


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