Monday, June 24, 2013

A Little Road Trip

Once Russ and Donna heard we were coming to this area, they suggested several road trips we might enjoy. A few days ago we took one of them and drove east on Highway 58 toward the Salt Creek Waterfall. Western Oregon, of course, is full of water, so a waterfall isn't necessarily a big surprise. But for us Arizonans, a waterfall is a pleasure.

We parked the Suzuki and took a well-maintained path through the wild rhododendrons.

We could hear the roar of the falls, so we knew this would be a good one, and we weren't disappointed. What we saw first, of course, was Salt Creek rushing headlong toward the brink.

The falls themselves (Why is a single waterfall called "falls" and then you have to refer to "the falls themselves" when its really only one?) were spectacular, plummeting 286 feet into a small pool and then on down the gaping canyon.

Suzy got some great pictures from this, one of several cliff-hugging overlooks.

Salt Creek creates one of the most impressive waterfalls in Oregon as it hurtles 286 feet into a gaping canyon near Willamette Pass. This is the second tallest waterfall in the state, but what adds to its special nature is the process by which the falls were formed. Glaciers scoured the valley out during the last Ice Age, then following their retreat, lava flows filled in a portion of the valley, creating the narrow canyon walls composed of columnar basalt that are now seen at the falls.

Our next stop that day, again recommended by Russ and Donna, was at Odell Lake, a year-round resort area with a nice little restaurant. Because it was a rather cool day, we sat at an inside table with a nice view of the lake and ate some wonderful hamburgers.

Seeing the vacant chairs, I asked the attendant when their big season usually starts. He replied that the place is hopping already in most years, but that this year the big push will probably start in July. All the rooms, all the cabins and all the RV sites will be filled, and the joint will be jumping. He didn't say that last part, but it's what he would have said if he were I.

Suzy noticed these logs piled at the spot where Odell Lake empties itself into Salt Creek, which later pours over Salt Creek Falls. See how this all goes together?

Another part of our road trip was to nearby Waldo Lake to check out the RV sites in one of the three campgrounds. Sadly we were quite disappointed in the appearance of the area. There seemed to have been some clearing done, and the cleanup was overdue. The camping areas looked dreary and not well laid out. We didn't take any pictures, and we won't go there next time.

(For more pictures of Salt Creek Waterfall and Odell Lake -- and rhododendrons -- see our album 2013 Salt Creek Bridge.)

But we did enjoy another Oregon day in ... Our Life on Wheels


  1. That looks like it was a fine trip. I looked at your album and enjoyed seeing all the pictures of flower, especially the ones with the droplets of rain. It just seemed to sum up Oregon in the early summer!

  2. Nice to see Suzy walking without her scooter. :)

  3. You always find the out-of-the-way places that we've missed! I'll have to add to our bucket list, sigh... Gorgeous scenery and you two are looking good, too!

  4. It looks like you guys are having a great time and finding some beautiful places to visit. What a difference in the scenery there and what you are used to back in Arizona.

    We've had rain about every day for the last couple weeks here in the Charlotte, NC area and the grass is just about popping out of the ground. What a contrast here with AZ also, but each place has it's own beauty. You just have to look for it.

    Have fun.

  5. I love waterfalls. One of the things I really do miss in AZ. Glad you are having such a wonderful time.

  6. Great photos of the waterfalls - I could watch waterfalls for hours!

    Really good to see Suzy enjoying walking around the trails and enjoying the sights.

  7. Beautiful pictures of the falls!


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