Day 9: Home to Oakland, Oregon - Waterfalls of Calapooya 2013 - CycleBlaze

July 2, 2013

Day 9: Home to Oakland, Oregon

Today I go home but I still have one more waterfall trail and one more covered bridge to see. I got on the road at 8:30.

Just past the campground is the Wolf Creek Job Corps center. It's a large residential vocational training facility in the middle of the forest. Young adults typically go there as an alternative to prison.

The entrance sign at Wolf Creek Job Corps describes the trades that are taught.
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Just past the Job Corps I stopped at the Wolf Creek trailhead. The hike to see the falls is 2.5 miles round trip. I had the trail to myself on the way up and I had the falls to myself. But I saw several people on the way down.

The hike to Wolf Creek falls is 1.2 miles, gentle uphill.
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The trail stays very close to the creek most of the time, steady but gentle uphill. The trail has a filtered view looking down on Lower Wolf Creek falls. You have to scramble a few feet off the trail for a clear view. The plunge pool is down a cliff.

Lower Wolf Creek falls drops 40 feet (12 m).
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The trail ends at Upper Wolf Creek falls. Easy access to that plunge pool.

Upper Wolf Creek falls drops 75 feet (23 m).
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The creek flows freely for 50 feet between the upper plunge pool and the lower falls. So I'm counting them as two separate waterfalls.

View of both falls. The upper falls is in the upper right.
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Of all the waterfalls I visited, Wolf Creek Falls is the closest to home. But I had never been there before. I will surely be back.

Walking back to the bike I savored the lush cool forest, knowing that in a couple hours I will be back in a hot sunny valley.

Large Western Red Cedar along the Wolf Creek trail.
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Footbridge crossing Wolf Creek.
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I got back on the road at 10:30. It was already getting warm in the sun. First is 8 easy miles downstream along Little River, passing the Cavitt Creek covered bridge once again.

Little River road.
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A mile before returning to highway 138 I turned left onto Buckhorn road. This beautiful low-traffic road was the main road before highway 138 was completed in 1964. It climbs 600 feet, then descends 800 feet to Dixonville. The valley opens up on the latter part of the descent. Suddenly the road is in the sun most of the time. It instantly felt much hotter.

Buckhorn road descending to the town of Dixonville. The landscape is now oak savanna.
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Buckhorn road dead ends onto highway 138. A mile west on highway 138 I turned left onto Douglas Avenue, which starts as a country road but goes to downtown Roseburg through a funky old neighborhood. Roseburg is the largest town on this tour with a population of 22,000.

Interesting houses along Douglas Avenue in Roseburg.
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My wife happened to be in Roseburg at the time, so we had lunch together at Bagel Tree. From downtown Roseburg I pedaled north on Winchester Street and busy North Stephens, highway 99. I stopped at Amacher park to rest in the shade and admire the bridges. This is my main kayak put-in point.

1906 railroad bridge crossing the North Umpqua river north of Roseburg.
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1923 concrete arch bridge crossing the North Umpqua river. It was the main Oregon-California highway before I-5 was built.
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On the other side of the river I went down the long stairway to the fish viewing area at the fish ladder. I saw several huge fish in the holding area waiting to be counted. The only similar underwater fish viewing area in Oregon is at McNary Dam on the Columbia river.

Winchester dam and fish ladder.
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View from the fish ladder's underwater fish viewing area. Either salmon or steelhead. About 2 feet long.
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I continued north on highway 99 in a dreary no-man's-land between I-5 and a railroad track. On the edge of Sutherlin I cut over to Comstock Road, then took highway 138 west for 1.5 miles to Stearns Lane. That takes me right by Rochester Covered Bridge. I stopped on the bridge for a few minutes to cool down in the shade.

Built in 1933, Rochester covered bridge crosses Calapooya creek 4 miles from my house.
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Hay field along Stearns Lane.
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Coming into Oakland on Stearns Lane I once again see Calapooya Creek and the Calapooya Divide which I just circumnavigated.

View of the Calapooya Divide from Stearns Lane.
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It was a hot afternoon. 96F when I arrived home at 4:30 PM, slightly sunburned. It was the hottest day of the tour, with almost no shade during the afternoon. A remarkable contrast to the cold and rainy start of the tour.

Back home in the big city of Oakland Oregon, population 930.
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Distance: 50.4 miles (81 km)

Climbing: 1444 feet (438 m)

Average Speed: 11.6 mph (18.6 km/h)

Unpaved roads: 0

Hiking: 2.5 miles (4 km)

Waterfalls: 2

Covered Bridges: 1

Today's ride: 50 miles (80 km)
Total: 325 miles (523 km)

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