Drift Creek Wilderness

August 3, 1991

After a mostly sunny drive from Eugene to the trailhead via the scenic Alpine-Alsea route, we four happy hikers departed the parking area at 10:15 for the descent to the old Harris Ranch on the south bank of Drift Creek. Along the way, Indian pipes brightened the trailside with their silvery-white stems and flowers. Once down in the meadow (the former Harris pasture), we passed numerous elk beds before reaching the ford across Drift Creek. Despite the slippery rocks and an abundance of crawdads, everyone made it across safely (though, for a moment, we thought Suzanne had encountered a shark, from the scream she let out!). We continued along the north bank of the creek, past another old pasture, to the confluence of Cougar Creek and Drift Creek where we waded across again to picnic and rest by the rushing water in the sunshine-covered rocks on the south side. The return to the trailhead, although it was all uphill, was nearly as pleasant as the morning descent, thanks to the temperature (low 70’s) and the fact that the trail is in the shade on a north-facing slope. We returned via the coast, stopping briefly at Stonefield Beach to find the sand verbenas in full bloom, then again at Mo’s in Florence for the traditional chow-duh, before returning to Eugene in early evening. Those escaping the heat of the Willamette Valley for the day were Bob Hill, Sandy Moore, Suzanne Steussy, and leader “Whitey” Lueck.

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