I had a great outing at Lake Creek (Oregon) on Sunday. This is about 25 miles (40 km) west of Junction City on Oregon Route 36. This is the creek that flows in and out of Triangle Lake. Lake Creek is a tributary of the Siuslaw River, which eventually ends up meeting the ocean in Florence (Oregon). I was completely amazed to see huge numbers of chinook and coho trying to overcome the small water fall blocking their path to their ancestral spawning grounds. (There was a fish ladder just below the falls, but some of them hadn’t gotten the word on that.) What an inspiring and humbling sight.
Lake Creek is best known for the natural rock slides feature which is just downstream from the falls where the fish were doing battle with gravity. In the warmer months hordes of people descend on this little patch of rock and water and try to negotiate the gentle but incredibly slippery smooth rock. A thin coating of water promotes the grow of some sort of moss or algae which creates a slip and slide that is both inviting and somewhat dangerous–depending on how one chooses to interact with it.
This is one of the most inspiring places I’ve ever seen because unlike many larger-than-life natural places like Yosemite or the Grand Canyon, you can actually get up close and personal with the rocks, water, and smells. In the fall and winter months the place is all but deserted, but the beauty is still just as powerful.