First Hike of the New Year: Ferry Springs Trail, Deschutes River State Park, Oregon – January 5, 2019
We did this same hike almost exactly one year ago – January 6th, 2018. It was a beautiful day with blue sky and long reaching views. Today, was a cloud covered day with no actual rain. We saw the effects of the July 2019 Substation Fire that burned both river banks for about 20 miles upstream from the park.
There was a bald eagle near the trailhead, but it flew off as I watched it.
Bald eagle near the trailhead.
Bald eagle – the white tail visible in the center of the photo, flying downstream.
Our trail started along the river, through riparian vegetation, but then we crossed the fire line and saw before us nearly completely denuded and blackened landscape through which grass in now emerging, a green/black palette. In some ways it reminded us of the highlands of Scotland.
From dry grass to burn zone, though the bench is intact, as were the other benches along the lower trail.
We passed below, then above the arch as the trail looped back north and uphill towards Ferry Springs.
Looking up at the arch.
Looking down through the arch.
I was looking forward to resting on the bench on the upper trail, but it was burned.
Lookback: Two views from the Upper Trail toward the mouth of the Deschutes River and Columbia River. In 2018 we were walking through dry grass. This year, the edge of the burn is well defined.
January 2018, pre-burn
January 2019, post fire
After crossing Ferry Springs, we headed back to the trailhead, looking down at the fire scars along the way.
This wooden gate survived, though the area around was scorched.
Looking back upriver.
The dry waterfall
More scorched earth, then back to dry grass.
This landscape is renewed by fire. I don’t think all the green grasses emerging are native grasses, but we did see new growth on some of the native plants. It will be interesting to return next year to see what happens. (5 miles, 560 feet, Hike #1 for 2019)
A yellow composite flower
New foliage on burned shrubs.
Cross stitch of Jane Austen’s house – I just need to add the windowpanes and french knot flower centers.
I finished the second sock, now I have to find the place in the stripe sequence that will match the place where the knot was in the first sock.
It has been a busy couple of weeks of the New Year, winding down from the holidays, and getting my daughter and her things sent back to college. I note that today is one year exactly since my surgery. I am adjusting to all my new medications, and am healthier for not having excess growth hormone secretly running around in my body and creating future problems. I am grateful for my recovery. My husband has just stepped down to half time work, with full retirement planned for a year from now. Thus we will likely have many more hikes and adventures in the years to come, including having just booked a hiking trip in New Zealand for a year from now! I am used to hiking at my own pace, but I will need to increase the difficulty of my hikes as the year goes on to prepare for the trip. A good goal, one of many, for 2019. (2019-1)