|Jawbone Flats a rejuvenated mining town and now houses the Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center, the center’s staff, and those participating in the center’s programs.|
The hike takes much longer than usual because of frequent stops to look at mushrooms, interesting plants, and old mining equipment.
|Rattlesnake-plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia)|
|Western grisette (Amanita pachycolea)|
As well as stops to admire the beauty of one of Oregon’s few remaining old growth forests.
|The sun peeking through the trees|
|The shorter scenery|
|An old mine|
Any activity with College Outdoors is challenge-by-choice, if you don’t want to or can’t participate in an activity then you will not be forced to. Friday’s plans involved a 15 mile hike up a mountain, but due to old injuries acting up it wouldn’t have been a good idea for some of us to participate. Those who decided the hike would be a bad idea started the hike with the main group and headed back to Jawbone after a few miles. We spent the rest of the afternoon reading, enjoying the scenery, and comparing the summer camps we worked at.
|My camp went with a dinosaur theme last summer.|
In the evening we cooked up some of the collected mushrooms and watched an old movie about Opal Creek. After that people hung around, played board games, talked, and read.
|Opal Creek by Cedar Flats|
We hiked out on Saturday by way of Cedar Flats, an old western redcedar (Thuja plicata) grove. Once we were about a mile from the parking lot it started to rain on us. It’s a common occurrence in a temperate rainforest, I know, but it has been dry in Oregon for an unusually long time and the plant life was beginning to suffer. I honestly love the rain and became completely soaked because I left my raingear in my backpack instead of putting it on like the more sane participants did.
|The CO Logo, courtesy of their Facebook page|
It was a fantastic way to spend fall break. I’m incredibly grateful that I was asked to help lead it and I look forward to being able to work with College Outdoors more as I get into the rhythm of school.
If you have any questions feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org