June 30, 2005
In a normal year, June 30 would be a bit early to do this trip. This isn’t a normal year—the snow’s been gone for quite a while already.
I got a call shortly after eight—it was Jan saying that they were all there (Amazon CC), and did I mind if they came down to Cottage Grove early? Well, ok. I figured I’d be ready to go by the time they were able to get down to the Grove. So, half an hour early, Sherwood Jefferies, Jan Jacobsen and Barb Revere piled into my car and we headed off east for the mountains of the Cottage Grove District of the Umpqua National Forest. (Thanks, Jan, for “offering” to meet people in Eugene. Not too much arm twisting was involved.)
Just beyond the Dorena Reservoir we took in the Dorena Covered Bridge (renovated a couple years ago by 2G—the company that’ll be working on the Obsidian Lodge.) For a few miles after that we paralleled the old OP&E railroad grade, now the Row River Trail. Just beyond Culp Creek we took the Lower Brice Creek Road so we could catch a glimpse of Wildwood Falls. Up Brice Creek we passed the site of the Lund(gren)-Park(er) Hotel (now the Lund-Park CG.) Halfway up the Noonday Ridge Road we passed by another Hotel site—the Noonday Hotel.
The first hike was to the ghost town Bohemia City: a half mile in, mostly level both ways. The trail (road) was a bit wetter than last year, but still easily passable. Barb brought along her flower book so we could try to identify a few of the wildflowers along the way. The rock-garden just before the town was a delight, as always, with its array of sedum, paintbrush, penstemon, etc. There were a few of the big lilies along the way, but they were still a ways from blooming. After getting our fill of the ruins and flowers of Bohemia City, we returned to the main road and crossed over for a quick visit to the Musick Guard Station—now a rental, but unrented.
Next we drove ¾ mile up to the Bohemia Saddle County Park. There were quite a few FS Fire vehicles parked there. We started the second hike with the traditional loop through the little “garden” on the south side of the park. A short ways up the Bohemia Mtn. Trail we came upon a couple Fire Crew members who were cutting a 24" log out of the trail. On top, the rest of the Crew had finished their exercises (deploying fire shelters, etc.), and were now heading down. We ate our lunches with a view—we could see at least nine of the ten peaks from up there. We weren’t quite sure if that was a cloud or Hood far off in the north.
Next we drove up to the top of Fairview Peak. The lookout too is a rental, but also unrented. For the return trip we took the Hardscrabble Road, then the road over to Shane Saddle, and followed the ridge road parallel to the Bohemia NRT. This trail was the miners’ original route up to the Bohmeia Mining District from the Roseburg area. We took Martin Creek Road down to Clark Creek, then Sharps Creek back to complete the loop at Culp Creek. The deetour was completed by taking Row River Road on the northeast shore of Dorena Reservoir, instead of the more direct route—Shoreview Drive on the southwest. The final stop was The Cottage Restaurant for drinks and food. —Wayne Deeter