A Rainy, Rainy Outing in Lewis and Clark’s Footsteps


I was thinking to myself – – – rain, rain, rain go away and come back another day. But, rain or no rain I decided to take an opportunity to spot migratory waterfowl and do a few miles of hiking.

Off I drove to the Carty Unit in the northern portion of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

After parking at the trailhead, the first order of business was to hike over an arched footbridge above a set of railroad tracks. Turning north, I hiked by a cedar plankhouse built in 2005 as a representative of the 14 plankhouses observed by Lewis & Clark in a nearby Indian village. This was the beginning of the Oaks to Wetlands Trail, a well-marked path passing several lakes.

Eventually the Trail emerged on a butte overlooking much of the area. To my surprise there were very few waterfowl in the area. Several raptors were floating in the thermals including one mature bald eagle.

Returning to the plankhouse, I headed west crossing a wet, marshy area north of Carty Lake. I was hoping to get beyond the marshy area and spend some time exploring the lakes and fields to the north. Alas, the heavy rains of the last several months had caused the water to rise too high to wade.

In any event, it was a fun but wet outing.

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Wetlands along the trail

Wetlands along the trail

Rosehip

Rosehip

Lake along the trail

Lake along the trail

Snowberries

Snowberries

Cedar Planckhouse

Cedar Plankhouse (roof needed repairs)

Trees need to be adaptable to survive in a wetland

Trees need to be adaptable to survive in a wetland

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Categories: Portland Area HikesTags: , , ,

3 comments

  1. Constant rain is not an impediment to hking in southern Nevada. I should take a moment to be thankful for that.

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  2. Thanks for getting out there in the soggy weather for the rest of us, John. I guess the recent rains give new meaning to the word “wetlands.”

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    • The webs between my toes have been growing by leaps and bounds. But, I follow the old axiom of dressing to stay warm while out in the winter rain or wet snow. Trying to stay dry is usually a lost cause.

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