This year has been especially busy for me, and more so the last couple of months. I happen to currently be moving which, with my leisure and work travel is taking longer than most moves would normally take. This month, I had pencilled a trip to Zion with friend and fellow adventurer Breanne, but as the date grew closer other things popped up pushing this trip back once again. So, instead of Zion I used the dates to visit my hometown in Oregon during the peak of fall. Last year when I visited I had just missed the ‘blooming’ time and the leaves were mostly on the ground. But this time, the trees were lively and colors so vivid, I swear there has never been a more beautiful fall in the PNW.
The day I was set to travel out, was the day the ‘big storm’ rolled in. The one that drew record winds and tornadoes off the northern coast of Oregon. I thought for sure the day of, there was no way my plane was getting off the ground. But sure enough those Northwest pilots are used to these weather patterns and I only ended up being a small bit delayed.
I had decided weeks before this trip that my first and foremost priority while in town was to see family and friends. Which, with the storm, sort of forced me into that commitment. But, the first morning I was there with the morning rain and howling winds, I attempted my favorite hike close to Eugene, called Horse Rock Ridge. I have hiked this trail almost a dozen times now and never get tired of the overgrown trail, unique rock formations and views of ‘hella trees’ as well as on a clear day, seeing all three sisters in the cascade range. While the rain didn’t bother me, the wind at the top was something fierce. I decided quite quickly after my phone died from the cold winds to hike down to lower elevations and just enjoy the fall colors.
Monday morning, two days later I decided I would go for Bohemia Mountain, a short but steep hike in the cascade range, just outside of Cottage Grove. I have hiked it before and the views from the top have got to be some of the best in all of Oregon. Bohemia is also known as a ghost town with some old mining caves. It’s a long drive up these forest roads to get to the trail and when I was just two miles from the saddle, I ran into snow, which brought me to a complete stop and honest shock and awe. Where I happened to be was just under 4K feet and not anywhere I would expect a snow covered road this early in the year. I contemplated keeping going but knowing the road to the trailhead knew it would just get worse, and being by myself, I opted out. Instead I drove down, hit the Brice Creek Trail and caught both rain and sunshine as I hiked to upper and lower Trestle Falls.
Wednesday morning, the skies mostly cleared and I followed a sunny trail back up to Horse Rock Ridge once again. While I expected the rain to take a break, I did not in fact expect such sunny and clear skies and was stopped in my tracks when I looked east and saw all three sisters poking up in the horizon. I did some rock scrambling, took in the views and once again appreciated all that the PNW and being HOME has to offer: lush forests, fall foliage, and all the rain needed to keep Oregon as beautiful as it is, year round, no matter the weather.