Our plan was to go to the snow yesterday but we decided we weren't quite prepared enough, so we switched gears to a hike that we've had our eye on. Drift Creek Falls. It's located about an hour and forty minutes from us close to the coast. We packed up some lunch and headed out.
Going into this hike we knew it was a popular one. It was featured recently somewhere, like a travel Oregon thing, I can't remember, but we knew it would be busy. We just hoped it wouldn't be too bad.
When we arrived, it was busy and crowded. It was so busy there was no parking in the parking lot and people were parking along the side of the road. We weren't sure what to do. The road parking was iffy, and very rugged, and blocked the road a bit, so we decided we'd have to wait for a spot to open up or go find a different hike along the coast somewhere. It was lunch time so we pulled off the road up away from the trail head and the busyness of the parking situation and ate lunch. We decided to drive back through the trail head parking to see if we would get lucky.
We found a parking spot! It was perfect timing. As we were unloading and getting ready to head out we saw some friends we hadn't seen for a long while pulling out. It's so fun to see some familiar faces in such an unlikely place. We later saw another family coming along the trail as we were heading back. Two families from different parts of our life crossed our paths during this outing!
This hike we did is about 3 miles long out and back. Once we reached the bridge and falls we headed back. We passed a lot of people and we followed behind people, and people followed us. It was interesting, and not my preference to be there with so many people, but everyone was very nice and it was beautiful.
At the end of our hike as we came back up to the parking lot there were several emergency vehicles that said Sheriff and Search and Rescue team. They had blocked off the entrances to the parking lot and there was a large group of people dressed in gear like they were getting ready to go out on a search. As we were trying to get out of the parking lot (one of the sheriffs I think came over to move cones for us to get out) we asked if this was an exercise and he said no. They were probably getting ready to go out and help someone. We didn't see anything happen or unusual while we were on the trail, but there were a lot of people, so who knows.
On our drive back home we saw a smiley face on the hill. The trees were planted that way on purpose, so that when the leaves were off for winter it would make a smiley face. That was a happy ending to our family hike.
Here's a very short video of me walking back across the bridge. I was trying not to get all the people ahead of me so I focused on the falls.