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Monday, October 1, 2007

Opal Creek Trail

It rained Sunday.
It rained all day.

I was East of Salem, trying to hike the Opal Creek trail. Here, you can see rain clouds settling into the North Santiam River watershed.

I tried the rubber band and plastic sack rain shield that I used last February in the Columbia Gorge (, but for best results, you need to at least start with dry equipment.

It was raining so hard that I was reluctant to take the camera out, and I didn’t until I reached the Opal Pool. By that time, my rain jacket had proved that it wasn’t very water resistant anymore. I was essentially soaked to the skin, and when I opened up my backpack, I discovered it wasn’t that water resistant either. Every dry cloth I brought to wipe off the camera and lens wasn’t dry anymore. The best I could do was smear water drops around on the lens and create an uneven diffusion effect which only became more pronounced as condensation set in.
Since it is probable that the rain isn’t going to stop until next May, I’ll be researching solutions to this problem in earnest.

The waterfall that feeds into what I presume is the Opal Pool, (I couldn’t verify this with my guidebook because the pages were wet and fragile and stuck together) passes through a narrow cut in the rocks where this migrating rock got trapped. Since the rock looks more polished than the walls, I figure it is evidence of the power of past high volume hydraulics.

Here and there along the river bank, isolated trees explode into fall colors.

It’s becoming a trend.

The Opal Creek trail is a photo opportunity rich location with old abandoned mining equipment waiting to be discovered in the forest. But this is the last picture I took before I initiated emergency measures to protect the camera from further exposure to water.

Next dry day, I’m going back.


  1. Outstanding!

    And glad you enjoyed Opal Creek (even if it was mightily wet), lets me know when I see blogs like yours that the ffort to sve it was worthwhile.

    Average yearly rainfall is 100"+ so odds are good you'll get wet there. But wet is good, it makes Opal Creek what it is.

    I've posted many an Opal Creek image at my blog:

    As a former resident of Jawbone Flats I keep my eye on the blog-o-sphere for posts like yours. And your blog is a good un.

    Write on!

  2. There is something about the autumn that makes me long for the rushing water.

    I've been spending many hours lately hiking and sitting along the various waterways in the Pecos Wilderness. Sometimes with a camera, sometimes with watercolors, sometimes with just my thoughts.

    Beautiful images, Scott.

  3. This is amazing...

    For someone like me, living so far away in South East Asia, and dreaming so desperately to step my feet on those lands and places you've visited, and described... and from those pictures you've captured.. At least they have already helped me to see them... though I can't be there...



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