Nick Eaton / Casey Creek Loop 18-April-2010

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VanMarmot
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Nick Eaton / Casey Creek Loop 18-April-2010

Post by VanMarmot » April 18th, 2010, 4:48 pm

Busy day at Herman Creek! When I got there at 7:45am, the “parking lot” (i.e., the large grassy area around the sign) was already full and cars (soon to include mine) were strung out along the road. With all the cars and the large Mazamas Basic School conditioning hike contingent at the TH, I feared traffic on the trail – a fear that proved groundless. I got past the conditioning hike early on and by the time I started up the Nick Eaton Ridge trail, I was pretty much alone – which gave me time to check out the little Calypso orchids along the lower part of the trail.

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On the way up the ridge, I caught up with a woman who I’d not met before but after we got to talking it turned out that that we have professional and Mazamas acquaintances in common. We ended up hiking together for the rest of the loop – which was a pleasant change from my usual solo style.

The ridge trail was devoid of snow well past the cutoff (Tr 422 – poorly maintained) to Deadwood camp.

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Snow requiring gaiters didn’t appear until 3,800’ and even then it was pretty sparse and soft. With more warm temperatures and rain, most of it will probably be gone soon.

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Blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus) are good at making “drumming” noise at this time of year. There’s also good at scaring the daylights out of you with their penchant for exploding out of the undergrowth just as you walk by. As their name suggests, they can be pretty obscure to see but today was my day to finally get a picture of one.

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As we descended the Casey Creek trail, I put my new pruning saw to use doing a little trail maintenance – cutting back some of the small deadfall and encroaching bushes. There are still some big trees on the trail but I figured every little bit helps.

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Continuing the degrees of separation theme of today’s hike, when we reached the junction of the Casey Creek and Herman Creek trails, three hikers were just starting up the trail – one of whom was Kam (aka “pdxflowergirl”) and her dog Max. It was nice to meet both of them in person!

After that it was back to the TH on the Herman Creek Trail, stopping to admire Camp Creek Falls(?) along the way.

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It was a warm and sunny – dare I say almost summer – day. I also saw and interacted with more folks on this one hike than in all my previous hikes this year. It was a very good day hiking.
Last edited by VanMarmot on April 19th, 2010, 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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retired jerry
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Re: Nick Eaton / Casey Creek Loop 18-April-2010

Post by retired jerry » April 18th, 2010, 4:57 pm

That's a nice hike.

Thanks for bringing the saw and cutting branches.

I have a saw similar to that I have taken up there before.

ElphabaNorthWest
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Re: Nick Eaton / Casey Creek Loop 18-April-2010

Post by ElphabaNorthWest » April 19th, 2010, 9:51 am

VanMarmot wrote:[
Blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus) are good at making “drumming” noise at this time of year. There’s also good at scaring the daylights out of you with their penchant for exploding out of the undergrowth just as you walk by. As their name suggests, they can be pretty obscure to see but today was my day to finally get a picture of one.
Are they what makes that Woo Woo Woo noise that I have been hearing on my hikes lately?

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pdxflowergirl
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Re: Nick Eaton / Casey Creek Loop 18-April-2010

Post by pdxflowergirl » April 19th, 2010, 2:52 pm

It's so cool that you got a photo of the blue grouse! We heard several along the trail and John spotted one. But with Max, I rarely get to see any wildlife that isn't running/flying away at full speed.

And it definitely felt like summer.
Kam

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VanMarmot
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Re: Nick Eaton / Casey Creek Loop 18-April-2010

Post by VanMarmot » April 19th, 2010, 4:28 pm

ElphabaNorthWest wrote:
VanMarmot wrote:[
Blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus) are good at making “drumming” noise at this time of year. There’s also good at scaring the daylights out of you with their penchant for exploding out of the undergrowth just as you walk by. As their name suggests, they can be pretty obscure to see but today was my day to finally get a picture of one.
Are they what makes that Woo Woo Woo noise that I have been hearing on my hikes lately?
Yes - mating season for blue grouse is about late March to early May and the Woo Woo is part of that. The rest of the year they're pretty quite.

katz4hiking
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Re: Nick Eaton / Casey Creek Loop 18-April-2010

Post by katz4hiking » April 26th, 2010, 12:31 pm

Hey Van Marmot,
You're a glutton for punishment going down that'a way! Every little bit does help indeed. Thenk you muchly for the trimming, we went up Casey this weekend. I have questions as far as mileage:
We went up Herman took Casey up to the Plateau, then down Nick Eaton trail. Our elevation read just under 4,000 feet and we calculated the mileage from the signs at around 9 miles. The mileage doesn't sound right to me. Took us around 8 hours total with a quick lunch up top.

Love your trips reports the photos and details are very much appreciated!

Kathy

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VanMarmot
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Re: Nick Eaton / Casey Creek Loop 18-April-2010

Post by VanMarmot » April 26th, 2010, 3:11 pm

katz4hiking wrote:Hey Van Marmot,
You're a glutton for punishment going down that'a way! Every little bit does help indeed. Thenk you muchly for the trimming, we went up Casey this weekend. I have questions as far as mileage:
We went up Herman took Casey up to the Plateau, then down Nick Eaton trail. Our elevation read just under 4,000 feet and we calculated the mileage from the signs at around 9 miles. The mileage doesn't sound right to me. Took us around 8 hours total with a quick lunch up top.

Love your trips reports the photos and details are very much appreciated!

Kathy
I got my mileage (11.3 mi) and gain (3900') for this route from the Falcon guide.

katz4hiking
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Re: Nick Eaton / Casey Creek Loop 18-April-2010

Post by katz4hiking » April 26th, 2010, 3:35 pm

Cool, that's much better than the 9 we thought it was. Were the Indian Paintbush up there last weekend?
Thank a bunch and have a great week!

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