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Gales Creek Trail
On the promise of a fairly nice wintry day in the Coastal Mountains, I drove to the Reehers Camp Trailhead west of Timber, a great name for a small logging town in Western Oregon.
My goal was to follow the Gales Creek Trail to the crest of the Coastal Mountains.
The trail followed the Nehalem River for a distance before crossing the river and beginning the 1,500-foot climb to Bells Camp Road. It had rained almost every day of the last three weeks, and it showed. There were huge puddles in the muddy trail and even a few places where streams had begun flowing down the trail.
I had to take a short detour on the Step Creek Loop Trail to get around one pond on the trail that was deeper than the top of my boots.
As I began nearing the top, I encountered snow on the trail from about a week prior. It was up to eight inches in places. Amazingly enough, only blacktail deer and I had been on the trail since the snow fell.
After a short break I began the hike back to the trailhead just as the heavy rains began. I’m sure I looked like a drowned rat by the time I arrived back at the car.