Saturday, August 29, 2020
Ritner Creek County Park
Ritner Creek Park. It's now been a week since we had Buster put down, and we are still seeking to find the balance in a group of 2 in place of 3. In our minds we now have a lot more freedom in time and place, but in our hearts this is a loss of companionship on all our adventures. Today, though it seemed a bit odd, it was time to seek out an adventure on our own. Ritner Creek Park has been a place I have wanted to visit for many years, possibly clear back to when I was a fisherman. It's the only one of the ten Polk County Parks that I had not been to, and possibly the most remote. Located at 750 feet elevation down a gravel road off of Kings Valley Road, it's a place you would not just to happen to pass by. For amenities, there is pit toilet, and gravel paths that lead across a bridge to a half dozen picnic tables with fire pits. Moss covered Bigleaf Maple trees, and giant tall Douglas Fir trees hide this park and provide abundant shade for the gentle flowing Ritner Creek on it's was to join the Luckiamute River. We arrived before 7:00AM to a silent park, save for the bubbling creek. We first noticed a Steller's Jay, and then a couple of Robins, and then the excited cry of a Piliated Woodpecker, put still not enough birds to live up to our expectations. As we started to drive away on the gravel road the morning sun finally had an effect on the bird population and we overwhelmed with bird identification challenges. Click on our bird list here. We will be back!