Kentucky Falls

May 7, 1995

This trip started innocently enough, but that was going to change soon! One of the participants even had a premonition when she saw me looking around for the “Y” from the SEHS parking lot. I reassured her that I was a capable trip leader and I still had a half-cup of coffee left. After organizing a quick count and last-minute instructions, we were on our way. Upon collecting ourselves at the Whittaker Creek recreation site turnoff from Hwy. 126, it was off to the falls. It was a beautiful and scenic drive with many flowers blooming and glimpses of fleeting birds and animals. As we drove (three cars/three people in each) up to and along the ridge, we were awed at the sight of the Cascades and I was having a lively conversation with Paul and Leigh Anne. But I should have done more observing than talking … an alarm went off in my head: what should have looked familiar along the way started looking foreign! Somehow I had missed a turn-off. How could this have happened? I asked myself; maybe a second cup of coffee would help, or perhaps I am having a nightmare! After traveling a little way I announced to my passengers that we were not where we were supposed to be …! We headed up another road pointing the way to the falls, at first paved and then becoming a four-wheel drive dirt trail. We ended up back at the original road near the quarry. After looking at a guide book, we were on our way and arrived at the Falls behind time, but in one piece and wiser. We were soon off down the trail. Because of recent heavy rains, Kentucky Falls was displaying its rushing power. After trekking for about half a mile we came upon the cascading Upper Falls, had lunch and then moved on to the Lower Falls. As we hiked along the winding trail we marveled at the tall trees and different species of plants. The day was mostly overcast with spotty rays of sunlight. As we rounded a bend in the trail, a spectacular display of nature’s wonders filled our eyes: both falls were putting on their best show for us — what a beautiful show! Part of the group then hiked to the base of Kentucky Falls. After a brief stop at the Upper Falls we were piling into the cars and heading home. Oh yes, straight home to Eugene! Hikers were Paul & Leigh Anne Jasheway, Nancy, Sharon & Julia Hart-Fishwick, Joanne Vinton, Brigitte Cross, Joanne Ledet and Fred Foust, leader. [PS: Trail for the most part was pretty good, with parts of trees at different points across the trail; there were also some rocky areas.]

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