Wednesday, December 25, 2013

North Umpqua Trail - Panther Section

Christmas is a time for doing the things you enjoy with the people you love the most and that's why I went hiking by myself on the North Umpqua Trail on Christmas Day. Between having a Christmas breakfast and an impending Christmas dinner, I took advantage of the in-between down time to get in a short hike on the North Umpqua Trail's Panther Section.

I repeat:  Dang, it's cold!

This time of year, not much sun gets down to the North Umpqua River canyon floor and my first thought was "dang, it's cold!" My second thought was "dang, it's cold!" Maple leaves, left over from autumn, were frosted solid and the icy ground crunched noisly underneath my boots like peanut shells on the floor of a Texas barbeque joint.

Did I mention it was cold?
About a quarter mile into the hike, the trail dropped down next to the North Umpqua River along a mossy cliff that was notable for the thick icicles hanging from the rocky wall. Similar icicle formations were hanging from my nostrils, no doubt. The rocky trail was littered with icicle debris and the going was treacherous, I should have brought my crampons. Much photography ensued and no hikers were harmed while negotiating the slippery trail.

The North Umpqua Trail
The basic pattern of the trail, typical of most sections of the 78 mile long North Umpqua Trail, was a climb up and away from the river followed by a descent to the river. Up and down was the theme of the Panther Section experience, apart from the Christmas theme thing overlaying the entire day. While going up and down, lots of pictures were taken of moss, mushrooms, trail, river, creeks, etc.

Rare water bead that wasn't frozen solid
Since there were only a couple of hours to kill, this wound up being a short 4 mile exercise session. Oddly enough, I saw no other hikers, didn't even see Santa Claus; apparently I was the only jolly old guy out and about on the trail. I'll have to come back and hike the entire Panther Section later on.

Blue and green
Ho, ho, ho...Merry Christmas, everybody!  For more pictures of this hike, stop by and see the Flickr album. 

Decaying biomass in many forms


  1. I've noticed this pattern: you disappear when the work is required before a feast on holidays! pretty clever, but isn't Dollie steaming?!