April 28, 1999 - Wednesday

Wandering Around the Collawash

Roads: 224, 46, 63, 6320 - short drive, 6330 to 200, 6340/140.

Steve drove. He picked me up at 7. Overcast, mild. Went up Collawash and check bait that I had dumped on ground. Not disturbed, no imprints, nothing. Leaves about to pop. Beautiful little rose colored bush flowers coming out.

Hiked up the steep slope from Steve #1 to #2 on the ridge line. Very hard, very steep, slippery, muddy. Tired us both out. Would have been a better plan to add the distance and just have walked back to the road. Good view up the south side of the river though. Small flat area thick with trees and brush.

Drove to the open area south of the sites and tried out his new animal caller. Used the Sierra sounds tape. I tried to tape the results with my little recorder, but picked up too much background noise with the cord mike. Got some of it, but not loud. Did the bucket call. Bucket sound on tape sounded good to our ears. Again, need better mic or recorder, but this one will have to do for now.

Drove up Dickey Creek road on the west side of the river. Blocked with dead falls, brushy. Had to back up a long ways because couldn't turn around. Went up to Van Cleve creek. Snow block just where creek crossed the road. Showed at 2050' on his GPS.

Went back down and up Bagby Hot Springs road. Didn't look too exciting, so at about 4 miles, went back to the road that parallels the river on the other side of the Hot Springs Fork. We walked up a side road that was heavily overgrown and had limited visibility from the air. Found a place where someone had stripped and burned two cars. The cars had been taken away. Went on further and found a large logged area. Steve went up one side and I went around the other. Lots of elk tracks and some deer tracks. Nothing else. Neat terrain, kind of a flat with a seasonal pond leading up the mountain. On my side there was a lower flat with a big marsh.

Up by the old log landing, we shot his 45 revolver a couple of times. The wooden grips were slick and uncomfortable in the humid air. Also, earlier we had shot the 45-70 at a rock across the Collawash a couple of times. For the size of the cartridge, which is huge, the recoil wasn't bad and I am sensitive to recoil. He has a little 1-4 power Leuopold scope on it that really brings in the light. We each put a round through my 357. Just blasted the hell out of the country side we did.

Went back over to the other side. Stopped and walked almost a mile down one of the "keepem' out roads" where the Forest Service has a contractor rip the road so that it's an entire jumble of rocks and there is absolutely no - as in no -flat ground or trails. The idea is to keep out both hikers and rtv's. About of the way was on the jumble and it was very hard on our ankles and knees. Nice area though. Hot Springs Nature Study area the reason? Keep out miner and placermen off the river's edge? Safe zone for animals?

Drove on and walked about mile down 200 road. Bridge was out. Good grouse country. Didn't feel like wading the creek to the other side. Could just as well have driven down to the bridge.

Went back and too a side road that goes along the bench between Hot Springs Fork and Collawash main river. Top of rotten tree had fallen across road so we walked about mile plus up road. Would have gone further, but the effects of the "keepem' off" road were hurting us both. This road and area needs scouting! Very nice terrain. It was definitely the end of spring up here at this elevation. Very nice feeling weather.

It was about 1:45 and we knew walking was done for the day, so we headed back. By the end of the day, we had eaten a whole pound of good hard salami from Zupan's. That and the hard white cheese Steve brought really tasted good.

This was the first day the kayaker's weren't on the river at their practice place. The water volume was coming down. The Clackamas River looked pretty and some of the banks were starting to show.


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