Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wassen Happening

Intrepid outdoor photographer James Johnston; the man who blessed my Columbia Highlands Book with so much pixel magic is organizing a hike on Sunday, December 2 into the Oregon Coast Range's deepest darkest wilderness. And you're invited to attend with him on this arduous journey into the Wassen Creek Canyon to view the mysterious Devil's Staircase.
In Jame's words, "I want to extend a personal invitation to all of you to accompany me on a truly epic hike. I propose to descend into Wassen Creek Canyon to catch a glimpse of the legendary 'Devil's Staircase.' The area is one of the most inaccessible parts of the Oregon Coast Range, ridiculously steep and coked with impenetrable vegetation. It will almost certainly be raining. I don't know how else to characterize Wassen Creek, or our expedition, except to say that it's an area that has been proposed as wilderness many times over the past fifty years, and hopefully will be again soon."

Hear, hear, James-I'm with you on that. Almost all of the Siuslaw National Forest (which houses Wassen Creek) was ravaged by logging over the past 60 years. Only three small wilderness areas were created in this vast coastal forest; Drift Creek, Cummins Creek, and Rock Creek. I have hiked to Drift Creek on a couple of occasions and it is indeed a special place. I can only imagine that Wassen Creek is too.

I encourage you James to help get the word out on this special place just as you helped me get the word out on the special threatened landscapes of Eastern Washington. Your recent article in the Eugene Weekly is a great start! Hikers: you can continue the good fight to protect this area by joining James. He'll be departing from the Kinkos back parking lot (13th and Willamette in Eugene) at 8:30 am on Sunday, December 2. He hopes to see many of you there with him.

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