Sahalie Falls, Oregon

It’s a beautiful sunny day for a drive, we wanted to go over the McKenzie Pass on Rte 242, but the road was still closed. So we decided to go off the paved roads and take FS 1028 to the Skylight Cave. After some searching we finally found it only to realize that we need lights and warmer clothes to go down inside. We were in the middle of nowhere, so we were surprised when the Sheriff pulled up and got out of his truck to come over to question us. We had done nothing wrong but he was not very friendly at first, we kept talking and he gradually softened and told us about some 4-wheel drive roads that we could drive to. We drove over the Old Santiam Wagon Road, a red cinder roads through mostly burnt out forest until we came upon a sign pointing to the Pacific Crest Trail, could it be on our Bucket List! Had to take a photo and then headed on our way to Big Lake, where Bob captured a fantastic reflection of Mt Washington in the distance.

Back again on the highway to go to Sahalie and Koosah Waterfalls just off HWY 126. We decided to take the 2.5 mile loop trail down the McKenzie River, beginning at the Sahalie Waterfall plunging 78 feet into a crystal clear pool. In 1998 Shannon Carroll, 20 years old, kayaked over the falls to set a world record. We walked along a perfect trail amongst old-growth firs, cedars, and hemlocks, and thick pillows of spongy moss with the crystalline turquoise waters of the river next to us. Soon we came up to the Koosah Falls with spectacular views of the powerful water dropping almost 80 feet into the river, so much water! We crossed over a bridge and walked up the River on the other side with views of the falls from another perspective. The beauty of the Upper McKenzie is breathtaking, the aquamarine crystal-clarity of the water between these two massive waterfalls is simply unbelievable. We crossed back over the River on a single-log bridge and made our way up the trail to the parking lot.

Back at the RV we showered and dressed up to go back to the Open Door Restaurant in Sisters for the “Meet the Maker Dinner” featuring WillaKenzie Winery and Winemaker. It was a set menu with pairings of different Pinots from the Winery, and we happened to be sitting with the Winemaker, Dominique Mahe, it was a very interesting dinner and we learnt a lot more about wines. Our friends that we met yesterday, Jeff and Vanessa came too, and Jeff played his keyboard while we enjoyed the dinner. Great way to end a fabulous day in beautiful Oregon.