Valley of the Giants

June 16, 1994

On Thursday, June 16, we did the first ever Obsidian hike to the remote Valley of the Giants, located deep in the Coast Range in Polk County. En route we stopped at Helmick State Park, the Falls of the Little Luckiamute, and the site of the abandoned logging camp town of Valsetz, once home to over 1000 people. Log trucks, poorly marked roads, big potholes and debris, and a closed bridge enriched our experience. The hike itself began from that bridge as the rain began. After two miles we crossed the roaring North Fork of the Siletz River on a large single log footbridge into the Valley of the Giants. This 47-acre preserve, having escaped fire and axe, includes many 500-year-old Douglas firs measuring 10 ft. or so in diameter. After lunch we followed a muddy and brushy loop trail up the hillside to enjoy the awesome forest. We re-crossed the river, and returned to our vehicles at which time the rain stopped — of course! Our return route followed the curvy Sline road going up the spectacular Boulder Creek drainage. A glimpse of the distant hanging Boulder Creek Falls in the sunshine was a delight. We reached the Mainline road (MLine), which was at one time a logging railroad, and then on to Falls City for ice cream. Then through scenic farmland on Hwy. 223 through Pedee and Kings Valley to the Ritner Creek Covered Bridge for a brief stop, arriving in Eugene at 6:30. The intrepid group included Joe Lowry, Glenn Meares, Gene Thaxton, John McManigal, Birgitte Williams, Aaron Novick, Bob Dark, non-members Adam Novick and Jim Fritz and a slightly (?!) confused leader Ray Jensen.

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