Hiding out at Hide Out Hollow

Bull elk crossing HWY 43 in Boxley Valley.

Bull elk crossing HWY 43 in Boxley Valley.

This morning I headed out early to photograph the the Spring house in Boxley Valley and the fall that runs beside it. Along the way I ran into a couple obstructions. The first was a flipped over S10 pickup truck that the police had the road blocked off for while they cleaned up the lanes. The second was a group of bull elk that were SLOWLY making their way across HWY 43. I didn't mind the second delay as much.

I arrived at the spring house to find the cascade beside it was unexpectedly bone dry. The old structure itself is still very photogenic though, so I decided to snap a few shots of it anyway. Back in the day people used this small building to keep the spring water clean of leaves and animals, and to refrigerate food before the advent of electric refrigerators.

The old Springhouse in Boxley Valley (Across from the Mill Pond).

The old Springhouse in Boxley Valley (Across from the Mill Pond).

After leaving the Springhouse I headed up the mountain to Hide Out Hollow to see if that drainage had faired better during our recent rains. 

The Hide Out Hollow trailhead is just a little over 3 miles down the road across from the Compton Post Office. The road gets pretty narrow and filled with potholes toward the end so a vehicle with higher clearance would be recommended. Today those potholes were filled with muddy water, so the vehicle looked like I had been mudding.

The trailhead for Hide Out Hollow.

The trailhead for Hide Out Hollow.

The trail to Hide Out Hollow Falls is a short, 2 miles round trip hike, and has very little elevation change, just 400 feet round trip. There had been a thick fog for most of the morning and everything damp, causing the winter colors to really pop along the trail. From the neon green moss to the light orange tones of the beechwood leaves.

The trail to Hide Out Hollow zig-zags through the forest.

The trail to Hide Out Hollow zig-zags through the forest.

After the short hike down to the falls we found it wasn't flowing as strong as I had hoped, but there was still more than a trickle so we went on down beneath the bluff to get a closer look and explore the hollow a little more.

Dana below the 37' Hide Out Hollow Falls

Dana below the 37' Hide Out Hollow Falls

Hide Out Hollow gets its name from an interesting story:

The trail was once in habited by a group of draft dodgers called The Slacker Gang during World War I. The Slacker Gang was made up of 9 young men from the Cecil Cove area that refused to join the army and decided to go into hiding in the dense wilderness area to avoid the draft. The 9 young men remained in hiding for months before surrendering to the draft in 1918. The trail was named in reference to this act once the National Park was established in 1972.
— National Park Service

So of course I had to explore around the remains of the shelter built down in the hollow, and imagine what it was like for those boys to live in this hollow for months.

The remains of the "hide out" at Hide Out Hollow.

The remains of the "hide out" at Hide Out Hollow.

Eastern Red-Spotted Newt under Hide Out Hollow Falls.

Eastern Red-Spotted Newt under Hide Out Hollow Falls.

Underneath the cascade at Bedrock Cove.

Underneath the cascade at Bedrock Cove.

Star moss above Hide Out Hollow Falls.

Star moss above Hide Out Hollow Falls.