Hello, Paulina Springs And sort of Goodbye to the Metolius

For twenty years my wife and I were 1/4 owners of a Forest Service cabin on the banks of the Metolius River in Camp Sherman, Oregon. We didn't have a direct view of the river from the cabin, but the Metolius was just a few steps away.

Last year we decided to sell our cabin share to the other owners. At about the same time we bought a 1/4 share of a house in nearby Black Butte Ranch. It just seemed like the time was right for a change. The Black Butte Ranch house is much larger, with more amenities, and we like having bike trails, swimming pools, and such close at hand.

ZuZu and Laurel on the banks of the Metolius

During our May visit to Black Butte Ranch we drove the few miles to Camp Sherman to see the Metolius River for the first time since we sold our cabin share. It still felt like home to walk along the bank of the river downstream of the Camp Sherman store, since we'd taken that walk so many times before.

ZuZu, our dog, loves the cold waters of the Metolius, which springs, um, from springs not far from where our cabin was. For sure, we'll be returning often to the river, but this most recent visit felt a bit like a goodbye -- since we're feeling more at ease at Black Butte Ranch now that we've made a few visits to the house there.

ZuZu gazing upon the Paulina Springs creek

What makes it easier to move our vacation residence from Camp Sherman to Black Butte Ranch is how close our Ranch home is to Paulina Springs. As befits the name, this also is a spring fed watercourse, albeit much smaller and shorter than the Metolius River.

We've learned how to walk from our house to Paulina Springs via a shortcut across the 12th hole of the Big Meadow Golf Course. The trail is quite well trod (not on the fairway, but leading up to it), so it seems clear that quite a few other people take the same shortcut.

Dog and human, a bit farther downstream

ZuZu and I were at Paulina Springs near sunset. Spring comes quite late to central Oregon, so the vegetation illuminated by the setting sun had a fresh feel.

Paulina Springs, having sprung

Like I said, there's a lot of commonality between the Metolius and Paulina Springs, if you ignore the difference in scale. For example, vegetation grows on rocks and logs in both streams, because there is little difference in the water level during a year.

Vegetation grows in Paulina Springs, as well as alongside it
Headwaters of Paulina Springs

Here's where Paulina Springs starts from, no big shock, springs. I like to imagine the water running through a mysterious maze of caves and lava tubes from the highest point of the Cascades mountain range before it reaches Black Butte Ranch. Of course, like so much else I imagine, my imagination likely is wrong.

Downstream from the headwaters

Here's a short video I made while I was enjoying Paulina Springs, and our dog was enjoying eating grass.

Black Butte, from Black Butte Ranch

At the end of a short walk along the banks of the creek formed by Paulina Springs, we came to a fence bordering the Big Meadow, with Black Butte beyond.

Black Butte Ranch is beautiful. The Metolius River is beautiful. Laurel and I are fortunate to have had the opportunity to own a part-time residence in each.

Hines home in rural south Salem

And naturally we're also thankful that we're able to live full-time in our beautiful rural home in Salem, Oregon. It is decidedly non-easy-care, but all the work we put into our yard pays off at spring time. (I took this photo about a week ago, in early May.)

Created By
Brian Hines

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