Panther Creek Falls
This is one of those gems of the Pacific Northwest that takes a little while to find, a little sleuthing, a little driving down unsigned forest service roads, a little faith. It's less of a trail and more of a use path straight down, to a creek, into an amphitheater full of water. Honestly, it was mesmerizing. This is a destination, really just to see, because it's that beautiful.
I didn't really dig the frozen ground scramble in or out though.
|The stunning Panther Creek Falls|
|lots of ice this day|
|and straight up we go on frozen ground|
Cavorting in the snow with a dear friend. J.B. can always be counted on for antics.
|snowshoe feet selfie|
|Why? I don't know :)|
|snowman with a moss toupee|
Valley of the Giants
Abort. Fail. Do your research, Amanda. This trip *took* place during a glorious January day, one where we were coming to terms with Captain's diagnosis. We threw us and the dogs in the car for a much needed day of soul therapy. My back was still injured and in the process of healing at this point, so a very short leg-stretcher was the only thing called for- Andy was going to carry all the pack weight, which just went against all my Ten Essentials instincts, but it was only supposed to be a 1.5 mile hike. Getting there is three quarters of the adventure though.
|somewhere, on some road, in the coast range|
|always call ahead to check *if* the bridge is in|
There are a number of hikes of varying length, ability and destination to choose from along the old Port of Tillamook rail line, accessed from various points deep in the Tillamook State Forest. We initially planned to make it to the Wolf Creek Trestle this day, just exploring an abandoned part of Oregon history. Andy's engineer instincts kicked in on the Big Baldwin trestle though- muttering things like "80 years old"..."Abandoned"...and "unmaintained" and doing stress force calculations out loud. We turned around, gingerly picking our way through rotten and suspended rail ties along other mini-trestles and made our way back to the car.
I was content though. This was my first hike since November post back injury. Even a simple walk in the woods felt outstanding.