We set out to McKenzie River to originally do the Blue Pool hike (aka Tamolitch Pool/Falls) . I was really looking forward to this hike because all the pictures I have seen are pretty stellar [see the link above]. The McKenzie River Trail is just shy of 27 miles long and the Blue Pool is a hike-in area, not one you can just pull up to like some of the other waterfalls are. Off Highway 126 is the McKenzie River Ranger Station and just a couple short miles after that are entrances to the trail.
We did not have clear directions to the hike, but we had been to some of the waterfalls previously, so we were somewhat familiar with the area. Without a destination to put into the GPS, I tend to get nervous about directions - I am THE WORST at directions, never ask me! But Josh is awesome at them. We pulled over at the Ranger Station to see if we could get a better idea of where to go.
|This is the plaque for where we were going|
|Can't help but to take the Honda when traveling |
long distances without the dogs.
The gas milage is just too good to pass up.
Also, while searching Google for directions I happen to come across this Blog from someone who was just there earlier this year! So using his descriptions and my need for exact turns I was able to come up with some directions. But don't hold me to them because I did not take note to actual milage as it all happened so fast:
There are two ways to get to the Blue Pool hike from Highway 126. We were traveling from south to north (since we passed the ranger station before the hiking entrance) from the south you can start at Trailbridge Reservoir and hike North. You pass the ranger station, then you'll cross over a bridge and shortly after that there is a decent sized brown sign on your right with Trailbridge Reservoir and the turn will be to the left as you are going up a hill/mountain. By the time we saw the sign and I registered the name and pulled out my 'directions' we passed it. So keep your eyes peeled. IF you do miss it, very shortly after that (I'd say maybe 5ish miles? Since the hike is estimated at about 3 miles in from each point) there is a tiny sign for Carmen Reservoir. You can start at Carmen Reservoir and hike South. The sign for this turn is a very tiny green sign on your left AT the turn, also left. We flew right passed it too. This turn is after you climb the mountain, so once you start to hit the peak, start looking.
We missed both turns and we had already been in the car for 2 hours. We decided to turn around at the next left turn - which just happened to be Koosah Falls. We were pleasantly surprised and hopped out and did a little nature walk along the path to the falls and surrounding areas. We have been here before, but it wasn't until this time that we realized that Koosah, Sahalie, Blue River and McKenzie River were all one path! duh. So we stretched our legs out and took a ton of pictures at Koosah Falls.
|Top of the falls. We went passed the 'fences' to get|
the better shots
|The camera on my phone was able to capture |
the colors better than my point and shoot!
|map at Koosah|
After walking around there for a while we decided to get back in the car and see what was further north. We didn't realized we had basically walked to Sahalie then back to the car and drove up to Sahalie, we laughed at ourselves. Here is the post from last time we were at Sahalie Falls (before we knew everything was connected). We hiked up and down and all around, it was a fun and relaxing day.
|He's tall enough to be a tree|
|Welcome to my playground for the day|
|The top of Sahalie Falls|
|Beautiful turquoise color right at the crest of the falls|
After playing around the falls for a couple hours we decided Blue Pool just wasn't in the cards for the day. It meant we would have had to drive back down 126 and still hike 6 miles round trip; we saved it for another day. We were able to continue north on 126, make a stop at Clear Lake and take Highway 20 home. We had not been to Clear Lake in the past, so we hung out on the boat dock for a bit and just soaked in some rays. It's a GREAT little spot, lots of camping and no motorized vessels allowed in the lake. It's not a 'secret' spot, so there were plenty of people at the canoe rental building across the way.
|They don't call it Clear Lake for nothin'|
This next one is my FAVORITE shot of the summer so far! I looked over and thought "I gotta get this Dawson's Creek shot". I took a couple, but this one turned out the best. Thanks, to whom ever left their boat at Clear Lake on June 29th!
I am so pale the sun actually reflects off my legs and gives sunburn to the people around me! And somehow I managed to make it look like I have long(er) legs in this picture.
A relaxing end to an easy day with plenty of beauty
End Note: I have been pronouncing it Sa-HAY-lee and Koo-Sa; I had a Oregon born person tell me I was wrong and it's pronounced SHA-hay-lee. However, I have looked it up in the past and based on how it is SPELLED I am sticking with my way. Also, upon further google searching I found that it is accepted both ways and that 'no one knows for sure' - but I am sticking with phonetically.