Getting to Paradise
Abiqua Falls · Abiqua Creek · Scotts Mills · Oregon · USA
The Abiqua amphitheater is something straight out of a fairytale, but getting there isn't for the faint of heart--just ask the two young ladies and their Yorkie whom we gave a lift back to their car, abandoned in the middle of the road some 2 miles off from the trailhead after they decided their sedan (or nerves) just couldn't take it anymore. The rough-and-tumble rocky road branches off from the tamer Crooked Finger Road (great name, eh?) and leads down to the trailhead after about 2-1/2 miles, a ride made considerably faster but only modestly less bone-jarring in a high-clearance vehicle. From there, it's a steep 180-foot descent to the creek made all the more slickery in wet conditions, and then a less disequilibrating quarter-mile creek-side scramble to the falls. And on this particular day, flashes of lightning and claps of (fortunately) distant thunder added a little extra intrigue to the journey. But boy, is the trip ever and always worth it! Despite its formidable beauty, the area's quite a challenge to photograph, so I took the opportunity to try out my new Merrill water shoes to seek out some fresh perspectives.