A couple of days ago our neighbours Robert and Susan took us out for a picnic, and to see the second biggest waterfall in Oregon, the Salt Creek Falls. On the way we stopped off at the Office Covered Bridge, one of many covered bridges in Oregon, but both the longest in Oregon, and the only covered bridge with a separate sidewalk west of the Mississippi River.
The bridge was only opened to the public in 2002, after it became the property of Lane County (in 1992), and was stabilised and had the roof replaced. It is now decorated with Christmas lights every year, and lit the first week after Thanksgiving. There is a small park over the bridge, with information boards, covered camping tables, toilets etc, which acts as the trailhead for North Fork Trail #3666.
Salt Creek Falls, the result of volcanic deposition and glacial erosion. The falls plunge 286 feet into the pool.
The basalt laid down at the top of the cliff cooled and contracted, creating (in places) a pavement a little like the Giant's causeway, but only a little.
We walked on to see another nearby waterfall, through towering Douglas Firs, Hemlocks and other conifers. It's easy to forget how magnificent these tress are, but some handy humans to give scale.
Diamond Creek Falls. While much smaller at only 100 feet, I found this much more attractive to the eye. As we viewed these falls we saw a pair of American Dippers, mother and baby, exploring the pools and catching insects. Actually the mother was doing the catching, and the baby was doing a lot of chirping and getting fed.
There he is.
Robert pointed out some rough pits near the bottom of the waterfall. These pits were apparently created by American Indians for food preparation, though Robert is fond of pulling our legs so I'm taking that with a pinch of salt...
On the way home we stopped at a fish hatchery and saw this interesting carving. The map has East at the top, and shows the network of rivers that run down from the Cascade and Coastal mountains, joining together in the Willamette River. Eugene is the label above above the leaf-shaped lake at the bottom right, with Springfield in the fork just above it where the MacKenzie and Willamette Rivers meet. The Willamette is unusual in running North towards its outlet into the Columbia River and on to the sea.