Macks Canyon to Dechutes River State Park ~~ Dec. 28-31,2012

This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
User avatar
shawjr
Posts: 127
Joined: April 14th, 2010, 7:02 pm

Macks Canyon to Dechutes River State Park ~~ Dec. 28-31,2012

Post by shawjr » January 1st, 2013, 12:13 pm

We have been planning this end of the year trip for a few weeks, and it is finally here!! After watching the weather forecast all week prior, it’s going to be on the chilly side... That’s ok, we came prepared… After leaving a shuttle car at the State Park, we headed for Macks Canyon Trailhead. We readied the packs and we were off on our adventure!! It was a balmy 25* when we left the warmth of the truck behind us a little after 9:00 am.

Image

Only 24 miles to go…
Image

The first few miles of trail were quite rocky, but the little bit of snow made for a nice cushion under the feet.
Image

The remains of the fallen bighorn sheep were still there from Jerry’s trip earlier this year. I’ll spare the graphic photo…

Some cool ice formations along the trail.
Image

Image

The views all weekend were just stunning…
Image

Image

We thought we would have the river to ourselves this weekend, but we soon saw that we had neighbors. There were a couple of guys who had a hunting camp set up across the river accessed by jet boat. In just about the center of the photo you can see their tent set up. We camped just across the river the first night.
Image

Our camp the first night, about 4.5 miles in. Initially we thought fire wood would be a challenge, but there was tons of available drift wood along the river…
Image

After a nice night’s sleep, we awoke to yet another chilly 25* morning… After a quick breakfast, we broke camp and on our way. Today’s hike would be a bit farther, next stop the old water tower and Harris Homestead.
Image

Hanging out, taking a break at the old shack before the homestead.
Image

Image

The Harris Homestead…
Image

Just before we arrived at the water tower, I started smelling campfire smoke. (Oh no! Someone is at the Fall Canyon camp, the one we were planning on staying at.) Was going through my mind… As we got closer, a group of rafters came floating by, confirmed!! They had beaten us to the camp by just minutes... Bummer!! No worries we just went downstream a few hundred yards and found a nice flat area for our camp, and made the best of it. The Fall Canyon Camp is such a nice place to camp, if you’ve been there you understand the disappointment…

Our camp for night #2.
Image

After yet another great slumber, we awoke to a light dusting of snow. Here is my tent the next morning.
Image

We saw a ton of wildlife on this trip, mostly mule deer and bighorn sheep. We probably saw around a 100 bighorn, and over 200 deer. I was now regretting leaving the DSLR at home, the IPhone will have to do…

Here are a couple of my best attempts at the wildlife…

Mule deer with a decent buck running over the rocks.
Image

Bighorn sheep
Image

Here is our third and final camp, just 5 miles out to the shuttle car. From here we enjoyed a nice campfire, while watching deer act goofy all around us all evening long.
Image

Can’t forget about the passing trains…
Image



In all, it was a fantastic trip, and a great way to end 2012!!

Happy New Year!!
Jamey

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 12974
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Macks Canyon to Dechutes River State Park ~~ Dec. 28-31,

Post by retired jerry » January 1st, 2013, 12:26 pm

Nice! I like all the frozen water.

You saw 100 sheep and 200 deer??? I've been there maybe 30 nights and once a saw maybe 5 deer and another time about 5 sheep. Oh, across the river I've seen them more often. Also domestic beef.

And someone was camped at Fall Creek? Again, I have never seen anyone else, except boaters along the river and a couple times somewhere I wasn't planning on camping anyway. Also, you could have walked 2 miles to the next campsite.

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 12974
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Macks Canyon to Dechutes River State Park ~~ Dec. 28-31,

Post by retired jerry » January 1st, 2013, 12:28 pm

How is that road to Mack's Canyon? It used to be 19 miles of mildly obnoxious washboard gravel, but they recently paved about 1 mile of it and it appeared they were planning on paving most or all.

User avatar
shawjr
Posts: 127
Joined: April 14th, 2010, 7:02 pm

Re: Macks Canyon to Dechutes River State Park ~~ Dec. 28-31,

Post by shawjr » January 1st, 2013, 12:42 pm

retired jerry wrote:Nice! I like all the frozen water.

You saw 100 sheep and 200 deer??? I've been there maybe 30 nights and once a saw maybe 5 deer and another time about 5 sheep. Oh, across the river I've seen them more often. Also domestic beef.

And someone was camped at Fall Creek? Again, I have never seen anyone else, except boaters along the river and a couple times somewhere I wasn't planning on camping anyway. Also, you could have walked 2 miles to the next campsite.

Thanks, Jerry.

It seemed like every time we stopped and looked up we were seeing deer or sheep. We saw one herd/flock?? of sheep there were 47 of them, it was incredible.. Totally amazing the ground they live in and how they move through it so efficiently... We also saw one group on 7 that had 4 big rams in it.

Thankfully we saw no domestic beef.

Yeah, what are the odds someone would be at the Fall Canyon camp?? We've stayed at the Bed Springs camp before, but after 10.25 miles we were ready to stop.

The road to the trailhead was really nice as long as the shuttle car driver avoids the fallen rocks :o Fortunately we made it bac to the truck though..

User avatar
Peder
Posts: 3397
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: Lake Oswego

Re: Macks Canyon to Dechutes River State Park ~~ Dec. 28-31,

Post by Peder » January 1st, 2013, 12:56 pm

Thank you for an interesting report. That looks like a superb hike at this time of year. I'm also amazed at the amount of wildlife you saw; good for you!
Some people are really fit at eighty; thankfully I still have many years to get into shape…

User avatar
BrianEdwards
Posts: 2402
Joined: February 2nd, 2010, 1:32 am
Location: Oregon City, OR
Contact:

Re: Macks Canyon to Dechutes River State Park ~~ Dec. 28-31,

Post by BrianEdwards » January 1st, 2013, 1:03 pm

Great way to end the year. That buck looks big! I'm surprised Jerry's Ram is still there. In the train picture, just so happens that those front two locomotives are becoming rare birds these days. Getting one leading is enough to get railfans excited, two leading down a line like the Deschutes, exceptional!

Happy New Year
Clackamas River Waterfall Project - 95 Documented, 18 to go.

kev82567
Posts: 1
Joined: February 28th, 2012, 6:34 pm

Re: Macks Canyon to Dechutes River State Park ~~ Dec. 28-31,

Post by kev82567 » January 1st, 2013, 2:00 pm

This was a great trip. The wildlife was awesome. Always a great winter hike. Thanks for the TR.

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 12974
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Macks Canyon to Dechutes River State Park ~~ Dec. 28-31,

Post by retired jerry » January 1st, 2013, 2:15 pm

"In the train picture, just so happens that those front two locomotives are becoming rare birds these days. Getting one leading is enough to get railfans excited, two leading down a line like the Deschutes, exceptional!"

I don't follow

I see 6 locomotives at the front?

It seems like there can be 2 to maybe 6 at front and sometimes 1 or several at the rear

There's no huge elevation gain so it doesn't seem like you'd need very many. Getting out of the Deschutes canyon at Trout Creek is some elevation gain. I figured they sometimes put on extra locomotives just to get them from where they happen to be to where they need them.

joerunner
Posts: 799
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Macks Canyon to Dechutes River State Park ~~ Dec. 28-31,

Post by joerunner » January 1st, 2013, 2:37 pm

Where was that buck when I was in there during hunting season. :roll: Great report, thanks!

User avatar
BrianEdwards
Posts: 2402
Joined: February 2nd, 2010, 1:32 am
Location: Oregon City, OR
Contact:

Re: Macks Canyon to Dechutes River State Park ~~ Dec. 28-31,

Post by BrianEdwards » January 1st, 2013, 3:52 pm

retired jerry wrote:"In the train picture, just so happens that those front two locomotives are becoming rare birds these days. Getting one leading is enough to get railfans excited, two leading down a line like the Deschutes, exceptional!"

I don't follow

I see 6 locomotives at the front?

It seems like there can be 2 to maybe 6 at front and sometimes 1 or several at the rear

There's no huge elevation gain so it doesn't seem like you'd need very many. Getting out of the Deschutes canyon at Trout Creek is some elevation gain. I figured they sometimes put on extra locomotives just to get them from where they happen to be to where they need them.
To try and keep it simple, the paint scheme on those front two locomotives is from back in the late 90's. They're getting repainted rapidly into a new scheme by the railroad. There wasn't many that got painted that original orange and green scheme to begin with.

In the railfan world, having a locomotive with a rare/special/new/unique/etc paint job Leading a train, that is the golden standard. It's not good enough to get one that is just 'trailing' in the consist, leading is the standard for getting a winning picture.

Jamey happened to get a train that had an original orange/green painted locomotive leading, as well as the second. Now add the scenery, and difficulty of getting to the location. All that equals a winning combo in the railfan world.

Having all those locomotives on the front doesn't mean they're required. 99 out of 100 times when you see more then 4 locomotives on the front, the extra ones are just being transported for various reasons. Their massive weight requires that idle/dead/shut down locomotives be transported on the head end of the train.

At Trout Creek, down by Madras, southbound trains have a steep pull out of the canyon up onto the plateau, and as such the southbound trains many times will have locomotives on the rear or in the middle that are remotely linked to the head.

That's the simple version of it :) Building and operating a train is a whole lot more complicated then shoving a bunch of cars together and pushing the throttle lever forward.



Sorry for the hijack. I seen Jamey's picture, and my railroad radar pinged a bit :oops:
Clackamas River Waterfall Project - 95 Documented, 18 to go.

Post Reply