McDowell Creek Falls+Brownsville

April 15, 2009

Our South Eugene contingent met the rest of our group at Gateway and caravaned in three cars up through Marcola and Sweet Home to McDowell Creek Falls County Park. Although a comparatively short hike, the trails took us through a wonderland of waterfalls, rushing streams, bridges, wooden and stone staircases, all amid a striking rainforest made surreal by stark trees covered by moss that almost glowed a bright yellowish green against the dark background. On the ground, we found frequent trillium and lots of skunk cabbage flaunting their young yellow flower buds.

Backtracking to Brownsville, we stopped for lunch in City Park next to the Linn County Historical Museum (next time, we'll know to go to the far more spacious Pioneer Park). For the next two hours, we went our own ways...some touring the great little museum, some doing the walking tour of the historic town and most, eventually, checking out the coffee, hot chocolate and cookies available in the various local cafes. It was agreed that next time we’d plan on having lunch in one or more of the cafes (will have to check with MaryEllen West for advice, since this is her bailiwick).

Although the weather was a bit nippy in the morning, the sun came out around mid-day and the only drops of rain fell while we were in our cars. Mixing hiking with exploring Brownsville seemed to please our nice sized group of 11 participants: including members Daniele Delaby, Walt Dolliver, Marshall Kandell, Joanne Ledet, Lou Maenz, Barbara Morgan, Margaret Prentice, Barb Revere, Susan Sanazaro and Barb Schomaker; and soon to be member Eleanor Wilkerson (who drove in from Elmira to be with us).

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