Rouge River Nat’l Forest, OR: Mill Creek

Center map

My Personal Waterfall

I have a campsite next to a small waterfall that never ceases roaring with water falling the four feet of my little personal waterfall at Mill Creek campgrounds, about an hour north of Crater Lake.

I went all the way to the back of the campgrounds to find this golden little spot. A winding gravel road took me through a green forest spotted with sizable campsites, outhouses and large trash bins took me to where I needed to go.

Even though there is no cell service nearby, this is where the locals hang out. Over the past few days, over a dozen families have arrived with their gear asking if I would mind if they did some fishing at “your waterfall.”

I’m just chillin’ so, of course, I said “be my guest!”

Foot and a half long trout is what they’re pulling out of the water here. One family pulled out 22 of them and then had a fish fry I could smell from 200 yards away.

And no, I wasn’t offered any fish that was cooked.

Oh no, bugs!

Yes, bugs are to be expected in the forest. But, there are very few mosquitoes which I simply bat away (three times and they learn to stay away), and an assortment of bees (3 kinds!), flies, worms, and several kinds of butterflies.

There’s a war going on here but, the battles are few and far between so there must be some kind of balance that had been achieved before I got here.

The war is between the different families of bees.

Each type has a patrol territory that explicitly ends where the next species’ begins. There have been only a few dust ups where I think the brinksmanship has to be measured by the amount of noise each bee can make to convince the other to, well, buzz off!

The bees have noticibly different intelligence factors. The smartest and smallest bees have no self control though: they are haphazard in their travels but appear to be fairly organized in their activities (patrolling).

The largest bees, however, are not so bright. I suppose they might simply be blind, but the big bumbles have a tendency to fly into things: the Sienna, other bugs, trees, ME…. They’re not hurt, just a bit befuzzled. They’ll shake it off with some frustrated buzzing, then they’ll take off again and wind up plowing into something else—just a moment later. I wonder if the other insects are as entertained as I by the antics I’ve been seeing in these large and not-too-well-coordinated-but-certainly-comical bees.

I’ve always been a subject of interest by hummingbirds no matter where I’ve travelled (this is true here as well albeit a different species of hummingbird).

And sun-up and sun-down are always the great attractor for deer (big ones, too) in the forest!

The cupboards are bare!

Okay, I really don’t have “cupboards” to be completely honest. But, it is that time of the month when the Social Security check arrives and it’s none too early this time. I’ve been low on food, goodies, water and gas for about the last week, so it’s back to the Eagle Point Walmart to restock in the next day or two.

I have a special place in my heart for the Eagle Point Walmart. It’s where I have had a couple life-changing moments, including coming to the realization that I needed a propane heater and buying my first dress.

Once I’m stocked up with everything I need, I’ll probably spend one more night—at least—at Crater …for a shower (truck stop showers are $14 so, this is a good deal—including a night’s stay). And then, I’m thinking of researching where the nearest BLM campgrounds are.

Bureau of Land Management sites are considerably less developed than National Parks or Forests but, there is typically no cost for staying overnight—and you can camp for a couple weeks at a time.

I’ll let you know where I’m heading before I disappear into the no-internet-zone again.

A little note of humor…

I walked past a rack in Walmart and saw—for two dollars—a clearance item that resembled a Robin Hood style shirt (you know, a square, laced up area on the front). Me? The forest? A Robin Hood shirt? Only two dollars? That’s a no brainer! But, when I got back to the forest and tried it on, I found out that it wasn’t a shirt at all!

I am now the proud owner of a two dollar, scarlett-red, Robin Hood dress!

Thinking back, that rack I plucked my new dress from? It was the juniors department!

Yup, girls’ clothing.

Oh, yes, I look positively marvelous (good thing I lost all of that weight or I wouldn’t have been able to pull it off so well)! Of course, wearing blue jeans with a red dress has got to be a new thing for me!

Next question is, then, where do I go to get a pedicure!?

Happy trails my friend!