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On a cloudy, rainy late-March day, I drove to the Elk Creek area on the west side of the Coastal Mountains. Due to the coronavirus, all campgrounds and access roads to trailheads were closed.
If it hadn’t been raining so hard, I might have braved a 4 1/2 mile hike up Elk Creek anyway. But, I decided to save it for another day, and instead drove to the Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area to the north. It’s managed by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife to provide winter habitat and supplemental feeding for wild Roosevelt Elk.
A series of open pastures border paved roads, offering good views of up to 200 Elk during winter and spring. I was lucky enough to spot a good sized herd near the road in the Beneke Creek tract.
They were mainly cows and calves. Because of the heavy rain, their heavy coats were drenched. Several of them were standing up and shaking themselves like a wet dog.
There were several large bulls staying well behind the others. I suspect it’s a safety measure for them.
As I returned home, the scarcity of traffic was amazing. It brought back fond memories of my early days of living in the Pacific Northwest.