My B-Day @ Metolius River!

18 06 2010

Love the ever relaxing Metolius

Spanking GREAT weather broke for my birthday weekend on the Metolius River June 12-13 2010.

We had planned a trip there in late April with a great forecast. But NO, in typical 2010 fashion, the weather turned ugly exactly 8 hours before departure and we canceled. This rescheduled weekend was – picture perfect. Clear, no wind, no humidity, temps 75 – 80 – just perfect for humans to enjoy. AND – no bugs, no skeeters.

I’ve got a special place in my heart for the Metolius, and in particular for the walk in campsites at Allen Springs Campground. There, the river bends around the campsites in a perfect U, so you get stereo burbling all day/night. It’s just wonderful! Magical, actually.

Metolius = magic for a number of reasons. The river comes out of the ground fully formed at the south end of the valley. It never changes levels. Same all year. It’s busy – flowing fast – but few rapids. The trees are orange bark Ponderosa Pines, a very cool contrast to the verdant green, low vegetation below, and the blue sky above. In  between, fly fishermen present their caddis flies to finicky salmonids.

Planning strategically, I headed down early Friday afternoon and scored a campsite on the peninsula. Not my first choice campsite, mind you, but a site good enough for our group of six. It had views of both sides of the peninsula, and plenty of space to the adjoining site. All was good because we scored, and the campground subsequently filled up.

I was to be joined by Kent, and then Jessie and her brother Joel. Later, after dark, Christian and Katie arrived. Saturday morning we breakfasted on French Toast topped with walnut and sliced pears, with bacon on the side. Yum!

Our plan called for hiking two miles down to the Lower Bridge and then back up the west side to Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery. What a nice hike it was. Filled with views from “A River Runs Through It” the whole way. Each bend brings more photogenic views into play. One would think they had polarized eyes.

Along the way we witnessed two fishermen, on either side of the river, bringing in fish. They were casually talking as they reeled in their quarry when one guy’s rod just about broke. He said, “Holy Cracker! A 20-pound bull trout just ate my fish!” We all stopped to view the spectacle.

He was not far from netting his burden when the bull trout let go – leaving this mauled, dead trout on the hook. I was really disappointed! I wanted to see that!

Later Saturday we packed up the boats and headed over to Suttle Lake for a sunny paddle. The lake was not really busy – only one jet skier – but it seemed a bit busy for the group compared to our campsite. Little did they know how it can be later on. Anyway it was pretty because Mt Washington is visible, all snow covered.

We did a shared Mexican meal Saturday evening. Soft tacos with green peppers, onion, salsa, cheese, jalapenos, beans, rice – all good stuff on there. Darn hungry we were. Then it’s time for my birthday treat – a cherry pie! Following the food fulfillment was a nice talk to the campfire. I also used my Android phone to use Google Sky Map to check out the constellations above!

Hey! Wake Up!

Sunday was an oatmeal feed with fruit, honey, nuts, butter, cream, brown sugar, all the good stuff.

I knew of a place high up on Green Ridge, which forms the east side of the valley, with amazing vews. So with hot beverage in hand, we headed up there. Wow!

You can see at seeminly eye level from Mt. Hood to Diamond Peak. That’s Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Washington, Three Sisters, etc.

Then we kinda lazily packed it all up. Had to end sometime!



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