Opal Creek · Little North Santiam River · Opal Creek Wilderness · Willamette National Forest · Oregon · USA
What's in a name? Somewhere in the dust-bunnied recesses of my mind I'd known that Opal Creek wasn't named for its color, however befitting that literal attribute may be. It wasn't until Terence Lee reminded me in a caption for his own photo from this same cold and soppy early-spring hike with my wife Ashley and me that I remembered it was actually christened after an early 20th-Century forest ranger’s wife. As it turns out, prior to this the idyllic meander was referred to as Boulder Creek...a rather pedestrian appellation for such a pretty stream, if you ask me.
People familiar with this view will recognize that another main attraction on this hike, Sawmill Falls, a.k.a. Cascada de Los Niños, lies just a few yards right behind our backs as we look in this direction. But heavy precipitation over this year’s (2017) wet season had swollen the creek to monstrous proportions, turning Sawmill Falls into a raucous, blustery, and unattractively featureless wall of white rage that assaulted our ears, drenched our cameras with unrelenting spray, and served more to fray our nerves than calm them as waterfalls usually do.
Hmm. I can't help but think in another hundred years or so historians will similarly be musing about how "Trump Falls" got its name… :/