Made a second trip to Opal Creek to continue hiking and take photographs. Time was limited so I didn’t quite make it to Jawbone Flats before having to turn around. The hike in and out was incredible, though. Opal Creek is truly a gem.
I want to bring something up, though, that bothered me. On my drive out, I stopped at Three Pools hoping to get some more photos that I’d thought about since the last time I was there earlier this year. Three Pools is an easy access, incredibly beautiful swimming hole. It was a nice Sunday evening, the sun was setting; I walk up to Three Pools and it had approximately 25-30 adults, smoking, and drinking, with loud music and trash everywhere. I was stunned. I walked around a little bit and there were cigarette butts, empty beer bottles and cans, used styrofoam plates, littered on the ground. This is not how we treat our environment, our home. There were children there and this was a terrible example to be teaching them. I left after a few minutes so I was not there to see if anyone stuck around to pick up the mess (I doubt it just from the sheer amount of trash), but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. What happened to Leave No Trace…if you pack it in, pack it out? I left wishing that Three Pools drive up access would be eliminated; if people want to see it, get a map and hike it in or use the van shuttle I saw patrolling for controlled access.
Back to the positive side of things, Opal Creek was amazing. I can’t wait to go back to do some more hiking and exploring. I feel like the photos did not come out as crisp as I’d like; there was a lot of smoke in the air and ash on the trees from the wildfires. I’ll never run out of excuses to go back here, though; I hope you enjoy the photos and get at least an idea of how beautiful the area is.