Friday, December 23, 2011

Shellburg & Stassel Falls

With Emily and I having friday off of work for the holiday we decided to get out of town for an outdoor activity.  Skiing was not going to happen as the mountains had been getting rain and the resorts were barely open with almost no skiable terrain in the backcountry of the passes either.  Kevin and Alexa had taken off for home for the holiday so we were dogsitting Andromeda who we decided needed a good long walk.  We decided on trying a waterfall hike we hadn’t been on before near Silver Falls called Shellburg & Stassel Falls.  It was a short loop of a few miles with two big waterfalls to check out.  

We had slept in late after the week of work so had a late start out of town but were able to get to the trailhead by about 3pm.  The easy hike started off down a closed farm road with cattle everywhere.  There were cattle gates on the road but no fences so we let Dromi get a close up view of the large critters to check them out.  After about 30 seconds though she seemed to be as bored with them as they were about her.  

After turning off the road we headed to beautiful Shellburg Falls where there was a viewing area for photos.  There was a very cool tunnel of moss covered tree limbs leading down to a small viewing area of the falls.  I had the nice camera with me so I took my time photographing the falls with various settings while Emily and Dromi patiently waited along the trail behind the falls.  

From there we headed up a few flights of stairs to above the falls and on to a campsite area at the end of the closed road we had come in on.  Apparently this was closed for the season.  We then followed the EveryTrail Guide written by the guy in Eugene back down the road in a loop to the short side trail to Stassel Falls.  By this time  the sun was setting so we didn’t stay long at the top of Stassel Falls which we couldn’t see very well through the trees anyway.  It would be cool to go back some day and look up at the falls after hiking into the bottom of the falls but we were out of time on this occasion.  

We hiked back out the farm road in the dark past a beautiful setting sun in the distance, only pausing to take some photos of the confused cows with a bright flash to stir them up.  On the way out we passed a guy in a truck pulled off the main road clearly smoking a joint.  As we passed him we apparently startled him which gave me a good laugh.  Only in Oregon... :)  Great hike and beautiful waterfalls.  

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