June 26, 2005
As there were no signups for this ride, I rode alone. It was nice biking weather—perhaps a tad coolish at times, but not extreme, and never too hot.
I started by riding down to the Row River trailhead by Mosby Creek and Layng roads, just in case someone wanted to come along but had failed to sign up. After snapping a picture of the Mosby Creek covered bridge, I backtracked to Garoutte Rd. for a shot of the Stewart Bridge. Then up over the hill to the Dorena Reservoir (now full), and along the lake to end the quick tour of covered bridges at the Dorena Bridge.
Picking up the Row River Trail just beyond Dorena Elementary, I rode to its end at Culp Creek, then turned onto Sharps Creek Rd. The weather this year must be good for tiger lilies—they’re out in force, as are the foxglove. Ten miles up Sharps Creek, bear right onto Clark Creek Road. (Straight ahead is Hardscrabble Road, an unpaved road up to Bohemia Saddle.) A couple miles up Clark Creek is where the major climb of the trip starts, and goes on for about four miles. I had plenty of time to admire the hanging succulent gardens, patches of white irises (iris chrysophylla) and other wildflowers as I made my way slowly up the hill. Just across into Douglas County, a dogwood was still in bloom.
The sun was out when I reached the Divide near Silica Mountain. Along this section were other wildflowers, notably penstemon, a few beargrass, yellow lupine, and much more of the white irises. At one point along the ridge not only was the 22° halo visible around the sun, but an arc of the 46° halo also. To the southeast Bailey and Thielsen occasionally showed themselves.
The descent from Huckleberry Mountain was a bit slower than usual as there’s quite a bit of loose gravel left on the road from a cheap chip-seal job. Just below Snow Peak were a few wisps of fog and the air turned a bit coolish again, but it warmed back up again down by Big River. Not many people were at Cottage Grove Reservoir (also full), possibly due to the cool weather. I took the shortcut at I-5 (Hillside Dr.) over to Main St., then picked the Row River Trail back up at Thornton Ln., and was soon back full-circle to the Mosby/Layng trailhead. —Wayne Deeter
—photos by Wayne Deeter