Oregon is known for its wildlife, and elk are some of the most majestic and interesting animals in the state. The Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area's 1040 acres, located several miles east of Reedsport Oregon.
The herd of 60 to 100 Roosevelt elk roams freely in the protected pasture, woodland, and wetland areas, sharing their habitat with other wildlife including bald eagles, Canada geese, beaver, and black-tailed deer. A fence separates them from the roadway.
As we drove past the area, we were in luck.
We came to cycle parts of the 132 miles Willamette Bikeway through one of the most productive and beautiful agricultural valleys in the world and known for pinot noir wine, hops for brewing beer, hazelnuts and marionberries. We made Armitage County Park, that happens to have WIFI and internet, our base.
We checked the weather which said that the rain from the previous day should be clearing out of the area in that later part of the morning. Once the sky started clearing, we headed out to see that the bikeway had to offer.
We rode through the cute town of Coburg just two miles from our campground and continued north. We could see the rain to the west of us and hoped it was moving west. A few more miles ahead, we saw another sheet of rain in the north. They both seemed to be heading towards us. Turning around seemed prudent even though we were loving the ride through the farm country. It was a little too late and we got drenched. Our shoes felt like lakes and not an inch of us was dry when we got back. The mud track up our backs wasn't so pretty either. No picture, we just wanted to be dry.
The campground having great new washers and dryers was greatly appreciated. Our bike shoes dried out in a couple of days and we were ready to go again.
As we rode through farm land, we would ride into small towns with old buildings and plenty of history.
Thomas Mill State Park
Thompson's Mills is a unique survivor of times past, chronicling 160 years of Oregon rural life and the owners who adapted the mill to the changing world around it. It is the last water-powered mill in the state and its turbines can be seen in action on guided tours. A water right that predates statehood produces the water flow that still runs the milling machines for demonstrations.
Oregon has this great state park along the bikeway. We stopped in for an excellent tour with demonstrations.
Riding our bikes every other day seems to be a good balance for us. On our cycling days off, we find interesting places to visit and sights to see after doing the shopping and laundry. Sometimes, we skip the laundry and shopping.
Oakridge and Westfir
We had to see what was in the mountains east of town.
Lowell covered bridge on Lookout Point Reservoir on our way to Oakridge.
Oakridge in the mountains east of Eugene is known as the "Mountain Biking Capital of the Northwest" and was decorated with bikes along its streets.
Hot springs in the national forest are a favorite place for us to visit. Along Salt Creek, 8 miles east of Oakridge is McCradie Day Use that has a trail to the river and hot springs. There are also springs across the creek if the one closest to the road is too full of people. The creek was running too high to walk across. But a bridge 1 mile east crosses the creek to another set of hot springs where the naked people happened to be today. We waved and they waved back.
Office Covered Bridge in Westfir is the longest in the state with a walkway. The water in North Fork River was crystal clear.
After our picnic lunch in the covered bridge day use area we took a hike along the North Fork Trail.
So many trails, so little time.