Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Old Postcard Wednesday--Cow Creek Cañón, Southern Oregon

The Cow Creek Tour Route is a refreshing break from the steady highway pace; this 45-mile detour wanders with Cow Creek as it dips through the Coast mountain range. The route is spread with quaint farms and ranches, stately forests, massive rock outcroppings, and spring waterfalls. Depending on the season, you can absorb the plethora of wildflowers or the bright reds and yellows of autumn.
-description from Travel more at Cow Creek Tour Route - Travel Oregon

Summer has definitely come to the U. S. this week with a major heat wave in the northeast and we are even expecting triple digit temperatures in western Oregon over the next few days. I selected the postcard today specifically for its refreshing scene, in hopes that a mental cool-down might bring some relief to those of you suffering in the heat.

I love that the postcard was published using the Spanish spelling (minus the accent marks) for canyon. It must have been the preferred usage of the word at the time, which is interesting when you think how there is a backlash (spearheaded by certain groups) against using Spanish in the U.S. today.

The Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad (CORP) operates the line now and its website provides this map that shows just where we're cooling down today.

From a part of the website titled Riding with Rick: CORP through Cow Creek Canyon you get a much better feel for the land and its relationship with the railroad. It's a fascinating read, and not too long, so follow the link if you want to learn more. Here is the introduction:
Between Glendale and Riddle, Oregon the Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad takes a scenic detour from Interstate 5 and civilization through Cow Creek Canyon (green line on the map above).  When the Siskiyou Line was originally surveyed in the 1800's it followed natural drainages rather than tackle the mountains of southwest Oregon.  For years the Southern Pacific was the sole means of transport through the Canyon.

Today a Bureau of Land Management road parallels most of the railroad, albeit on the opposite side of Cow Creek from the tracks.  There are a handful of grade crossings that are protected with crossing lights and one set of gates.  In addition there are periodic dragging equipment and hotbox detectors, however, no public power supply extends through this remote area of Douglas County.  Except for a couple installations with propane powered thermal generators and two more with solar collectors, the safety devises in the Canyon run on battery power and these batteries must be changed periodically.  Rick Perry invited me to accompany him (and help out) as he made his monthly inspection rounds through the Canyon and changed out 17 of these batteries. . .

Back to some thoughts on this heat wave....... the National Weather Service, a part of NOAA, has a map that shows those areas under a Heat Advisory, among other things (click here). I also recommend NOAA's special page of information about Excessive Heat that is packed with important information to keep you and your family (including the important members of the family dressed in fur) safe and well-informed throughout the summer.

....... Want to go for another cooling splash in Cow Creek? I'll race you!

Original Video - More videos at TinyPic

(Note: Video not mine...acquired from TinyPic)



Owen said...

Looks like a beautiful place... although "Cow Creek" seems a little less inspired to me as a name then say "Rogue River".

I wonder what it was named by the people who had lived in the area long before white Europeans came... ?

Stay cool...

Melindav said...

We are sure having a heat wave here in New England, Lydia! Yesterday, it was well over 100 when we arrived home to Boston (we spent the previous week up at our beach house in Maine, which was *much* cooler (by the water).

Les and I are 85% sure we are going to Oregon this weekend (on Friday) for the Oregon Country Fair. We've been there once and loved it. Do you by any chance ever go to that? I'd so love to meet you in person!

As usual, another FABULOUS OPW!
Take care!


Amy said...

Thanks for the refreshing tour Lydia - the video set the tone for the day! I think it's going to be a tad cooler here today but definitely 100 degrees!

Nancy said...

I love that area. Stay cool! It is supposed to be 94 here today.

Lydia said...

Owen~ I doubt if it would be named that today, as there is a serious effort to keep cows from grazing near creeks and streams. Their manure fouls the water and their hooves plunder delicate bank structures..... But, yes, Cow Creek does look like a lovely place. ;)

Melindav~ I was surprised when I looked at your area on the Weather Service map last night; very sweltering. You should check for predictions for this Friday, although I'm sure the organizers of the Oregon Country Fair will be ready with fluids and maybe even cooling stations if needed. No, I have never been which I'm kinda shocked about. There were times in my decades living here where it would have totally fit my lifestyle and relationships, but I missed the chance to see what it was all about...
If you 85% go, I hope you 100% enjoy yourselves!

Amy~ I guess I'd take "a tad cooler." I can really feel a huge difference between yesterday afternoon and today. According to it doesn't look like we will hit the 100 mark and I'm glad.

Nancy~ It's such fun that you have moved back to our hometown. Does your new house have any shade trees in the yard, I wonder...

Darlene said...

I didn't need to look at the map to know we are in the midst of a heat wave. It has been hovering around 100 degrees every afternoon for several weeks and sometimes getting up to 107. Our Monsoon season is about to start and that will cool us off if the rains do come.

The video of that clear sparkling water cooled me, even if it was just imaginary.

Lydia said...

Darlene~ 100-107 is simply too hot! We hit 98 on Wednesday and looks like we will hit 100 Thursday.
I do hope your rains come as wished for. We had such a soaker of a month of May that it is recent memory and I can wait awhile for more rain.

dmarks said...

Wow. I think I have owned this card at one time.

Lydia said...

dmarks~ Interesting to know that you recycle yours through the postcard market, or something like that. I've wondered if/when I will feel like selling some of those that I've already posted.
Haven't visited you for awhile. On my way now. :)

bfk said...

Very nice. Peaceful... But now I have to go to the bathroom.

Lydia said...

bfk~ Made me laugh. Be sure to put the seat back down.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Hi Lydia - love the postcard. it kinda reminds me of the kind of paintings you used to get on Airfix kits (model aircraft, boats etc) or Hornby rail sets - only obviously the train would have been larger there!

I say used to, because rather sadly these fantastic paintings seem to be a thing of the past now on kits and you just get a picture of the model. Which may be truer from a sales pov (point of view), but less interesting from an inspiring young minds pov.

We still have a couple of steam trains in the UK, mostly on preserved lines - plus a train that takes you up Mount Snowdon (usually 3/4 up mount snowdon due to the weather), on which i once spent two hours listening to an overweight American complain about the lousy weather.

Was there a point to my comment? Nope - just that i think this kind of image brings back all sorts of memories and is very engaging. Much like your blog xx

Lydia said...

Pixies~ Thank you! And I am so sorry for not replying earlier! Actually, I thought I had done so. You always have such fascinating information and insights to add to Old Postcard Wednesday posts. It's so cool that you still have some steam trains there...that alone makes me want to make a trip to the UK.
I think I remember the lovely paintings on boxes of models. What a sweet thing.



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