I've been wanting to go to Opal Creek ever since I read about it in Audubon Magazine at the doctor's office (and stole the magazine, I confess). It's a tract of 35,000 acres of old-growth forest that was narrowly preserved from loggers over a long battle that spanned the 1960s to the 1990s. Remember the whole spotted owl controversy? Well, this is spotted owl habitat, and now -- thanks to decades of fighting by a few remarkable people, this forest still stands. (Thanks, remarkable people!)
This is "Jawbone Flats" -- the old gold-mining camp that has been turned into an education center and cabins:
It's all powered by the force of the creek (cool!) and you can't get there by car -- it's 3-1/2 miles from the trailhead, with sights like this along the way:
I am not the sort of skilled photographer who can convey scenes in the forest with much majesty, but trust me that it is spectacular.
It was hot, and all that green water looked so enticing, but it is so cold -- the kind of cold that makes your feet ache within seconds of putting them in the water. (Quite different from the bathwater-warm waterfall Jim and I went to in Chiapas!)
We just went for the day and didn't get a chance to hike any of the side trails from Jawbone Flats or really look for critters (Opal Creek is a "phib" paradise -- ie, amphibians -- home to some 3 kinds of frogs and 11 species of salamanders, including the Pacific Giant Salamander, which can live up to 40 years!!!) but it was still lovely. Another time I'd like to go and stay. I had a thought while sitting beside a creek that it would be so fabulous to have a "fairy tale writing retreat" there -- a group of writers for three or four days, all working on writing fairy tales? Find a different place by the creek or falls to sit and write each day, get together in the evenings to share? Sounds great, doesn't it? Maybe some day!
Speaking of faeries I want to hugely thank Stephanie for officially being the first person to read Silksinger in one day! Perhaps only other writers can understand how much this means -- to have someone read your book in a day is the biggest compliment there is, and of course, often someone might want to, but just not be able, so I'm not saying I don't love other people who took a few days to read it. I love anyone who reads my book! (But special thanks to Steph!)
And thanks also to Steph for introducing me to
And remember: kissing! Rent it, ladies. Meet Mr. Thornton for yourselves.