2011Closer 2 Home travel blog

view over Annie Creek canyon

interesting formations

 

the trail down was challenging

the canyon is fairly deep

nearing the bottom

still lots of snow on the hillside and trail

bottom of the canyon and a nice bridge

view upstream

view downstream

 

 

 

 

another of the many bridges to cross

a water ouzel

more popularly known as a 'dipper;

 

in places the trail was pretty marshy

 

we were real glad we'd brought the walking sticks!

 

one of the very few wildflowers in bloom down here

 

 

old man winter!

the other three flowers we saw

but you have to admit this is a good way to start...

 

 

here the trail gets a little tricky

 

lost count of the bridges by this time

 

 

 

 

a robin to keep the water ouzel company

 

the trail guide had a lot of information

 

 

 

Madolyn gives scale to the scene

not human and too big to be a dog!

a beautiful combination of wood and water

 

 

 

 

 

not the best bridge on the trail - but it worked

 

 

 

 

 

at this point the snow covers a lot of the trail

 

a last look at the creek before starting up

all the trees come out of the hill and then curve up...

taking a break on the way up

it was a pretty good hike out

ouzel info

on the road out we stopped to see this falls

and the volcanic formations that still stand on the sides of the...

in the next picture you see this scene with Mt. Mazama drawn...

in the preceding photo the mountain top would be where the upper...

some young bikers stopped too - not too many young bikers any...

picture Mt. Mazama where the clouds are, and we are parked at...

 

an Oregon homestead fixer-upper

two osprey nests on the power poles

if you look carefully you can see a baby's head and beak

mom flew off the nest

didn't see any action on this one

is this bird wearing sneakers?

sure looks like it!

 

osprey in flight

 

kind of a weird cemetery

guess three horses in a pasture passes for 'congestion' here

 

 

this guy just pulled out of a field and it looks like...

passing upper Klamath Lake

 

 

 

 

 

from a distance this looked like a copper roof but it turned...

north of Klamath Falls - a town that's probably not worth getting...

back in California - this is the lower Klamath drainage

a lovely wildlife refuge

this is definitely a place we will have to come back to!

 

entering Lava Beds National Monument

another place we will need more time to explore


Monday Morning on Annie Creek:

We decided on taking one more hike before leaving Crater Lake, so we got out our walking sticks and bug spray and headed off on the Annie Creek Trail. Annie somethingorother was supposed to be the first woman to descend the cliffs of the caldera and get down to the water of Crater Lake, so they named one of the area’s major creeks after her. But like a lot of those ‘firsts’ in American history, they apply only to white people of European descent. A thousand Klamath Indian women may have descended the cliffs over the centuries, but they are unrecorded and unimportant to our white Euro-centric ‘historians’.

Nevertheless, Annie Creek has cut a deep, beautiful canyon into the mountainside, and it is the source of Rim Village’s wonderful drinking water. From the trailhead, the trail follows the rim of the canyon past the end of the campground before it turns and starts it’s steep descent into the canyon. The vertical drop is about 200 feet, and at this time of year there are hungry mosquitoes waiting to eat you every foot of the way. This can be kind of distracting when you are trying to watch your footing on a steep, narrow trail, but we managed it and eventually emerged onto a tiny meadow at the bottom of the canyon.

The creek runs quite full this time of year, and there is still a fair amount of snow on the north facing slopes. In fact a lot of it is drifted across the trail, and crossing those slippery mounds can be another hazard in itself. We were grateful for our walking sticks, and they got a good workout on this hike.

The trail crosses and re-crosses the creek several times, and the bridges are mostly in decent condition. Of the wildlife mentioned on the park’s literature, we spotted only a water ouzel and a robin, but I’m sure many other eyes were watching our progress, because sometimes you could hear tiny gales of laughter whenever we slipped. The water ouzel (also called a dipper) wasn’t ouzeling when we saw it, but it was hopping through a marshy area and headed for the creek bank. Water ouzels are fascinating little birds that can swim like seals, and they can dive under water like a cormorant, even though they look like an ordinary songbird. The last ones we saw were several years ago in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

We completed the 1.7 mile hike with a minimum of whining and complaining, and looking back from the top of the cliffs we were proud of our effort and glad we did it. We broke camp and headed down the mountain, our destination being a campground somewhere in the Central Valley. Mt. Mazama is no longer tall, and it is not a long drive to the Klamath Valley below. At one point on the valley floor we stopped to look at a roadside information sign, and found on it a picture of the panorama before us, showing the mountain as it once existed, and outlining the changes that created the caldera and Crater Lake. The sign said that here on the valley floor we were standing at about the same elevation as the bottom of Crater Lake as it now exists.

Continuing on we avoided the main highway as long as we could, as we took back roads until we reached the outskirts of Klamath Falls. Along the way we enjoyed some fine high desert scenery, and we spotted two osprey nests, a couple of ospreys, and we even saw an osprey chick peeking out of one of the nests. We gassed up south of Klamath Falls, and at the state line we changed our plans and decided to head east and drive through a few wildlife refuges, and the Lava Beds National Monument.

Our route took us across the lower Klamath drainage and some lovely marshland, then turning south we passed Tule Lake and several more refuges. We finally arrived at Lava Beds National Monument, and after a visit to the Visitor Center we took a campsite there for the night. In one short detour we found so much wonderful stuff to see and do, that we can only look forward to another trip in the fall, when we can come back to this area and do it all! Too many places to see, and never enough time to see them.



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