Salmon River Wanderings

Salmon River Wanderings

Sometimes I just wander about without any specific destination. I wanted to explore around the Salmon Butte trailhead and today I did that. I scheduled this outing and it was going to happen, rain or shine. They day turned out to be somewhere in between, somewhat misty, and more water dripping off trees than from the sky. Temperature was in the 40’s, a bit warmer than my previous visit. All the fancy ice crystals were gone. I did bring my new gloves and they kept my hands nice and toasty. I didn’t really need them and wore the glove liners most of the time.

First I headed up the South Fork of the Salmon River, to see how far I could go. Close to the bridge there is a huge boulder that has several large trees growing on it. The path goes through large ferns and moss-covered trees. The path runs out pretty quickly where a cliff face comes all the way to the river.

Next I followed the South Fork downstream to see where it meets the main course. Water temperature is a chilly 42 F. Again, lots of ferns and moss-covered trees. I also found some interesting fungi. I wonder, does the mycelium (root network) of the fungi on the trees go to the ground and interconnect?

After running out of exploring options along the river, I followed the old roadway to where the trail branches off. I detoured onto the trail as far as the two camp sites. The first one had a trail leading away from it. This is also an old road, heavily overgrown, and you can still make out the center ridge. I followed only a little way. I suspect the camp sites were gravel depots. Orion and I have come across other large open spots, with gravel under the moss and grass, along other logging roads.

I continued on the roadway past the trail turnoff. It was filled with saplings. In the spring and summer it will be difficult to go along here because you won’t be able to see where you’re going. A few people have come this way since fall as evidenced by flattened leaves and ferns. The first portion is a thick layer of packed gravel, crossed by streams. After a while the gravel runs out and the road is just a graded way through the forest. Orion and I have passed along similar tracks elsewhere.

I passed two hikers with packs and trekking poles striding along. I also passed two runners puffing up hill at a good pace. Some postings on AllTrails claim to make the round trip to the top in a bit over three hours!

I sometimes just stand, or sit, by the trail, just to be there. In the distance is the tumbling of a large river. Closer by is the burbling of a stream crossing the path. One ear hears the uphill portion as the water comes toward me, and the other ear hears the downhill portion that’s making its way to join the larger roar. Sometimes  a bird will chirp. The wind tickles the tree tops, and tufts of mist roost among the branches. Nice!

I do need to come back with a tripod. Some of these pictures would make nice murals or screen savers. Fortunately the best ones are close to the parking area.

Here are the pictures. You should maximize the slide viewer (in the top left corner) to properly appreciate them. Most pictures were taken with Nikon D5300 and some with my OnePlus 5 phone. The pictures are in high resolution and take a few seconds to load. You can click on the “+” in the top left corner to zoom in.

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