3.18.2004

Tour of Lane County

We went geocaching on Melissa's days off this week. The weather was beautiful, sunny and in the 60's, and I even got the beginnings of a tan. We decided to travel down 126 to Wildcat Creek bridge, where we have a cache hidden and then cut across a minor back road to 36 and head toward Junction City.

The trees around here are in full bloom, and most of them are full of bees gathering pollen for the summer. Wildcat Creek was looking really pretty as we drove along in the sunshine, enjoying the view and stopping to look at small waterfalls along the way.

All along the roadways and in the ditches where there might be a little bit of standing water, we saw these flowers. They're a kind of wild arum called Swamp Lantern. They were everywhere we looked. Apparently, they are one of the first native flowers to bloom in Oregon. Some of their close cousins in the plant world ar called Skunk Cabbage. I'm glad I didn't get close enough to get a whiff!

At one of the caches we did, I found a wild white trillium in bloom on the path. Nearby was a friendly little snail who allowed me to photograph him.

We continued on our way, and ended up in Harrisburg at their Riverfront Park. They have a beautiful gazebo there on the bank of the Willamette, and the trellis at the back is covered with heavenly smelling clematis, all in full bloom.

The next day we headed out to Cottage Grove, about 20 minutes south of Eugene. They have the most covered bridges in Lane County, which is good because A) they are pretty to see, and B) there are caches at most of them. :)

We went to the Currin Bridge and the Mosby Creek Bridge. Found both of the caches that were placed nearby, and headed out toward Dorena Lake for the next one. While at Dorena, we got some really nice pictures of the dam. Here's a view of the mountains across the lake, and a better one of the lake itself from the top of the dam.

We left there and headed south again to London Hill on Shoestring Road. You can definitely tell that logging is a major industry around here. The view from the top of the hill toward the west was amazing so we sat and watched the sunset. The colors were so breathtaking on the clouds. We feel so lucky to be out here and see this.

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