I have kept the content of my blog to just my art and art process but I am going to start adding some other things to mix it up. Im not much of a writer but just play along as I ramble. Let’s start with a hike. Jeanette and I have been hikers for a while but since we moved to Oregon it has become a regular part of our life. Hiking for me is a form of exercise but more importantly a form of therapy.
Hiking helps me both physically and mentally. Keep in mind that this is coming from someone that has never very been athletic or competitive. When I was running I couldn’t believe what we were doing. After each run where I added a mile to my distance I felt a huge boost in my confidence and mental state. Turns out I really need those challenges and that boost, plus the exercise is a much needed bonus. Granted hiking isn’t nearly as tough as running but after a 10 mile hike you do feel like you accomplished something. I have battled anxiety and depression since I was a kid and whenever I do something like a long hike or run it boosts my confidence and helps me take on other things that come my way. Your body will do way more than your brain thinks it can do.
More importantly, being out on a hike helps calm my mind. It usually takes me about a mile for my brain and body to get in synch but I can feel all my anxiety and worry start to fall away. I am able to clear away all the chatter in my head and focus. I told Jeanette it felt like my brain was doing a jig saw puzzle. Starting the hike with a pile of jumbled pieces and by the end of the hike everything had been put in it’s proper place. It’s pretty much meditation. The rhythm of my steps and the solitude of the trail work together. I’m not saying its a cure all but right now it’s working for me and I can’t really recommend it more.
Now let’s talk about the Salmonberry River.
Hike Name:Salmonberry River Canyon, Upper Loop
Length: 14 miles
Conditions: Rain, 65°
Date: September 27, 2014
The Salmonberry River Trail, if you can call it a trail, is in a logging area that has seen major flooding over the years from coastal range storms that would damage the loggers rail line. After each flood they would repair the tracks but in 2007 a massive flood ripped through the canyon and did enough damage to cause the logging company to give up. WInter rains melted snow which caused the river to rise quickly. During the flood the Salmonberry backed up from the debris and when that dam broke it sent a wall of water rushing through the forest. It carried trees, soil and car sized boulders for miles down river. Tracks are washed out, bent and some are snapped in two. The area has been abandoned and nature is slowly taking the area back.
The trail here is actually the train tracks except in areas where the track has been damaged or washed out. You hike through several tunnels along the way where flood waters went over the tops of. Parts of the trail has been overgrown but still clear enough to hike through.
This day was just as the Fall rains had come to Oregon so lots of critters were out enjoying the rains.
Here you can see an area washed out by the flood.
We crossed quite a few trestles along the way the biggest two were the Wolf Creek Trestle, which you can see in the first photo of this post, and the Big Baldwin Bridge seen above. It’s 167 feet high, 520 feet long, and was finished around 1910. One end has shifted a bit and there’s a noticeable dogleg in the entire structure. It took a lot of damage in the storm of 2007.
Walking across it was a bit scary but, for the most part, it felt safe. Looking down through the bridge to the tree tops was a weird feeling.
Because of the damage to the tracks the company had to leave the large equipment behind.
More track damage.
The river is fed by smaller creeks. The damaged trestle in the background is the trail and because of the damage you have to hike down into the river. Here the flood waters came rushing down the side creek and took out the bridge.
It’s fun to think that that at some point in the future these small trees will grow and lift the tracks up into the sky.
I plan on posting more often so stay tuned for more hikes and art.