Sunday, May 2, 2010

Weekend Wanderings

(Guest writing for Marin this entry is her husband, Kevin)
With Marin's weekends being taken up by work and church-related duties, the kids and I do many adventures without Marin. Below are two different adventures we have done in the month of April.

Moultan Falls and Cedar Creek Grist Mill
April 10

On this trip we head north into Clark County to take in the beautiful Moultan Falls on the East Fork of the Lewis River. We teamed up with two of our friends, as Molly and Keenan say, Kathy and Rachael. It is never Rachael and Kathy.

After a week of rain,the falls were roaring. I have been up to these falls before, but have never seen the river raging quite like this. There are rocks right next to the falls that are fun to climb on. Molly and Keenan took right to them. They didn't seem to mind that the river was moving extremely fast. I, on the other hand, had to remind them not to get too close to the falls.

What is really nice about this park is that there is a beautiful pool just up river from the falls. This reach of the river changes quickly from serene to powerful. You can get right down next to the water or you can go high above it on the foot bridge that crosses over the river. Once you cross the bridge, a path leads you to a wonderful system of trails.

After enjoying the falls, we headed into Amboy for lunch, then onto the Cedar Creek Grist Mill. As you might have expected, the mill is on Cedar Creek. To get to the mill, you have to drive down a windy road. As you come around a bend, you are greeted by a covered bridge crossing over the creek. The mill is right next to the bridge.

The Mill is from 1876. Due to it's location on the steep bank of the Cedar Creek, the mill was never profitable because of all the up-keep it needed from the flood damage it sustained over the years from the creek. It is still a working mill, operated by a "Friends of" group. It is only opened on the weekends for a couple hours each day. They will demonstrate how the mill works by grinding different grains into flour. We were fortunate to be there when they were grinding soft white flour, perfect for buttermilk pancakes (which we have made since then a couple of times).

Camassia Natural Area
April 24

Molly and Keenan saw a picture of the Woodburn Tulip Festival and decided that they wanted to go there to see the pretty flowers. Not wanting to deal with a weekend crowd at the festival (nor did I want to pay $10 to get in) I went to the Oregon Wildflower web page to locate some beautiful wildflowers where there wouldn't be a crowd or a cost. This mile and 1/2 loop was just what I was looking for; close proximity to us, a short hike and the flowers were blooming. It just happened to be on the way to our ultimate destination, a pet store in West Linn. This meadow is hidden between the West Linn High School and a cluster of houses.

The common camas (Camassia quamash) were in full bloom

The kids liked it because there were numerous rock outcroppings that they could scramble around on. These rock were exposed from the Missoula floods 15,000 years ago.

Wandering across the boardwalks through the camas meadow

Now that summer will soon be upon us, hopefully Marin will be able to join us on our adventures. Lands we hope to journey to are: Steens Mtn./Alvord desert, Cape Argo, Smith Rock, Eagle Cap Wilderness and any other place that our trusty Subaru will take us to.


  1. Someone's got to keep this blog going. Thanks, honey.

  2. And thanks for exposing our kids to adventure and the wonders of nature. Hopefully our schedules won't always have to be this way. . .