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About Appeal tribune. (Silverton, Or.) 1999-current | View Entire Issue (July 8, 2020)
| WEDNESDAY, JULY 8, 2020 | 1B
An elevated boardwalk allows views of powerful Majestic Falls at McDowell Creek Falls County Park outside Lebanon. PHOTOS BY ZACH URNESS/STATESMAN JOURNAL
an idyllic place
to cool down
on hot days
Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
One of Oregon’s great and lesser-
known recreation destinations are
Not as grand or crowded as a state
park, but deeper in nature than a city
park, county parks are often overlooked
gems on the edge of town and forest.
McDowell Creek Falls County Park,
northeast of Sweet Home and Lebanon,
is a perfect example.
Home to booming waterfalls tucked
in a remote canyon of temperature rain-
forest, McDowell is a miniature slice of
Silver Falls State Park, except with few-
er rules and smaller crowds.
Instead of Silver Falls’ 10 waterfalls,
McDowell has four. Instead of 8 miles of
waterfalls trails, it has just 3. But while
Silver Falls prohibits dogs on its most
popular trails and generally doesn’t al-
low wading or swimming among its wa-
terfalls, McDowell allows both of these
things, in an environment that feels
closer to a national forest.
McDowell is more laid-back than Sil-
ver Falls because it doesn’t get nearly
the same level of crowds, but it does be-
come a popular place on nice weekends
— so come early or better yet, come mid-
week. While the waterfalls are most im-
pressive in the rainy season, the ability
to combine hiking and waterfall viewing
with wading and even swimming have
made traveling here during summer a
See MCDOWELL, Page 2B
There's lots of places to explore the water at McDowell Creek Falls County Park.
Grandchildren make the pandemic personal
Is it just me, or do the words “Inde-
pendence Day” while living under a
pandemic seem oxymoronic?
Hang in there; we’ll get through this.
I was reminded of the need for the
current precautions recently by a couple
of incidents involving the beloved and
much-missed grandkids, Jasmine and
Jasmine went to visit a friend recent-
ly, and found out later that the friend’s
mom tested positive for coronavirus.
Welcome to the quarantine clink for
Jasmine, her mom, our daughter, Megh-
an, and Nic until virus test results came
Those were blessedly negative.
Flash forward a couple of weeks.
Nic goes to visit his dad, Mario,
Meghan’s ex, and the dad has a friend
over to play video games while the
grandson is there.
Mario’s friend feels punky, gets test-
ed, and bingo.
Then Mario feels funky, gets tested,
and you got it, also tests positive. So far,
he’s riding it out at home.
Who ever thought that unit about
contact tracing in that Immunology/
Hematology course as a college biology
major would play out in grim reality?
We just got word that Nic’s test came
back negative, and since he was isolat-
ing from his dad under quarantine, he
just came back home.
The one thing we’ve learned is that if
waiting is fretful and anxious for the
grandparents, Meghan said it was ex-
cruciating for her and the kids.
They had video chats, texts and
talked to each other at a safe distance,
but it’s not the same, Meghan said.
Hugs count for kids and moms.
Looks as if we dodged a couple of bul-
lets. So far it’s been just some minor ca-
sualties during the current pandemic.
Jasmine didn’t have her middle-
school graduation, and doesn’t know if/
when she will start physically attending
On our end, several items have been
added to the to-do list, post self-isolat-
Among those are a do-over of a trip
that we had planned to visit Meghan
and the kids during spring break, as well
as a summer visit to Oregon by the three
of them that we were hoping to pull oﬀ.
Visions of outdoor outings and
FISHING THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
“I only ﬁsh catch-and-release” is the
best excuse for never coming home
with anything. - Henry
teaching a few beginner ﬁshing, crab-
bing and clamming lessons were danc-
ing in my head until about mid-March.
Masks, distancing, sanitizing and
For parents and grandparents every-
where, I assume, that mantra seems like
the smallest of sacriﬁces for those who
The whole thing reminds me of a
motto that according to some historians
dates back to the time of the Roman le-
gions: Death before dishonor.
Looking at the crowded beaches,
bars and restaurants of mask-less peo-
ple in “open” states , one almost gets the
feeling that the motto has become
“death before discomfort” in a lot of
The Oregon Department of Fish and
Wildlife has resumed posting its Weekly
Recreation Report (online at https://
The report had been on hiatus for
three months because of the pandemic,
recreational closures and staﬃng situa-
Most of the greatest hits are back,
topics such as ﬁshing, crabbing and
clamming, big-game and game-bird
hunting as well as wildlife viewing.
But rather than the previous laundry
list of ﬁshable waters, the “new-look”
ﬁshing reports feature general condi-
tions for each zone as well as recom-
Still missing because of the need to
prevent crowding and to maintain social
distancing, is the weekly trout-stocking
report, but trout plants remain ongoing.
Reductio ad absurdum
Latin for “reduced to absurdity.”
I emailed a long-lost friend during
the doldrums of the corona lockdown,
and he commented in his reply, tongue
ﬁrmly planted in cheek, that “I didn’t
know that you’d joined the Jesuits.”
The SJ in the email address is short-
hand for Statesman Journal, not the So-
ciety of Jesus, the Roman Catholic order
aka the Jesuits.
Bless you, though, my friend.
Contact Henry Miller via email at