Tag Archives: alsea highway

Fall Creek – Chinook Run

Fall Creek is a tributary of the Alsea River.  A well-maintained gravel road is between mile markers 26 and 27 on the Alsea Highway 34. We’ve been checking Fall Creek, every couple weeks, for salmon but hadn’t seen any at the falls until this week.

Fall Creek Falls
Fall Creek Falls

 There’s a really nice research center about a half-mile further up the road.  They use workampers and other volunteers seasonally.

Fall Creek Chinook Run - 2013
Chinook on redds

But we just like to watch the salmon jump the falls.  We only saw one jump so we walked down the river to see how many we could find on redds.  “Redds” are the gravel beds where salmon lay their eggs.

Fall Creek Chinook Run - 2013
No fishing!

But we were mostly excited to see the size of these Chinook this year.  They are probably in the 30-40 lb range!

Fall Creek Chinook Run - 2013
Some are sore backs

“Sore Back” is a nickname given to the adult salmon that are dying.  As their bodies deteriorate, they turn white and look like sores.

Fall Creek Chinook Run - 2013
Pretty beat up

  They’ll tend their eggs until they die.

Salmon lesson for the day:  We never stop being a parent.

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Alsea Highway 34 – from Corvallis to Waldport, Oregon Coast

Ever wonder whether to take Highway 20 to Newport or Highway 34 to Waldport on the Oregon Coast?

  Highway 20 is an easier drive but Highway 34 is prettier.  (IMO)

Let me take you on a little tour of Highway 34, the Alsea Highway.  (You’ll have to ignore the dirty windshield.)

Hwy 34 from Philomath to Waldport
Out of Philomath

It starts out innocent enough.

Hwy 34 from Philomath to Waldport
Coast Range

The coast is about 60 miles, over the river and through the woods, from Philomath.

Hwy 34 from Philomath to Waldport
Slow vehicles use pullouts

It’s about to get interesting.

Hwy 34 from Philomath to Waldport
Twist-n-Shout

In the old days, when this was a logging road, there were more of these twists and turns.

Hwy 34 from Philomath to Waldport
Old Loggin’ Road

They’ve since straightened out a lot of the curves in the road.

Alsea highway 34 from Philomath to Waldport
Narrow Bridge

There is one narrow bridge.  The warning is that it is single lane for trucks.  The same goes for large RVs so watch for oncoming traffic.

Alsea highway 34 from Philomath to Waldport
Straight-a-ways

Take a deep breath and relax where you can.

Alsea highway 34 from Philomath to Waldport
Town of Alsea

Then there’s the sleepy little town of Alsea.  It has basic needs; small grocery and gas station.

Alsea highway 34 from Philomath to Waldport
Steep and Twisty

Then you get to the part where the Alsea River is on one side and the mountain is on the other; with hardly a shoulder between.

Alsea highway 34 from Philomath to Waldport
Entering the Siuslaw National Forest

They keep the roadsides well-trimmed but heavy rains can still drop a tree across the road.

Alsea highway 34 from Philomath to Waldport

So drive carefully and pull over if you have more than 2 cars behind you…as soon as you can find a pullout.

Alsea highway 34 from Philomath to Waldport
Blackberry Campground – just 18 miles from the ocean

It’s a beautiful area for camping.

Alsea highway 34 from Philomath to Waldport
More pullouts on this stretch

During fishing season you’ll see lots of vehicles in the pullouts – they are fishermen.

Alsea highway 34 from Philomath to Waldport
Fall colors are stunning on the Alsea Hwy