Mott Segment of the North Umpqua Trail - December 17, 2016
Coordinator, narration and pictures by Lane Harris

The Mott section of the North Umpqua Trail was chosen as a safe alternative to traveling to far-flung frozen places on the Willamette or McKenzie Rivers, the originally scheduled plan. Lane’s planned hikes would have to wait for more reasonable weather. But the weather had not been reasonable in the Eugene area, that region having been delivered a nasty ice storm earlier in the week.

Nonetheless, eight hikers showed up on this cold, clear morning, attempting to fend off the chill of winter’s icy grip which had moved in from the north. It was in the mid-twenties in Roseburg and drifted nary a degree on the drive to the Wright Creek trailhead. With one vehicle left at the Mott Bridge trailhead, the group proceeded up the trail from Wright Creek in what would be a cold but pleasurable trek.

The trail was mostly just wet, with only a few icy spots, but nothing too treacherous. The extremely full creeks flowing into the river under each footbridge were spectacular, resulting in much picture taking. Multiple species of lichen and mushrooms were spotted, as well as frozen water clinging to rock walls. Plants that were in full winter mode shamelessly displayed their thin, barren branches, totally encased in layers of ice.

The river itself had subsided from the heavy rains earlier in the week, and appeared to be on its best behavior, flowing along rather clear and peacefully, providing quite a few photographic opportunities.

All the hikers enjoyed this very scenic hike, despite the cool nip in the air. They also discovered that winter time on the North Umpqua has its own special beauty that has to be experienced to be appreciated.



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