Just an easy relaxing walk on a bridge right? Not so much. What this photo doesn’t show is how relieved we were to finally find this bridge!
See video for the visuals, but here’s the story:
We were staying at the Union Creek Campground on Union Creek, very close to the Rogue River. It seemed like a morning hike was in order, so we grabbed a couple of small bottles of water (one for the kids, one very small one for us to share), two granola bars, and set off on a trail.
It was gorgeous, and after about an hour of hiking we came to a bridge that led across the Rogue River. We were warmed up, having fun, the kids were happy, so after crossing the bridge we kept walking back towards our campground, but on the opposite side of the river.
Kim asked me, do you think there’s a bridge?
Yes, I saw one! I replied.
So we walked.
The trail started to become more and more overgrown, but it was there. It was clear no one had used it in a while and we started to doubt our decision.
Are you SURE there’s a bridge??? he asked me.
YES! I saw one.
Eventually we realized the bridge I had seen was across Union Creek, not the Rogue. OOPS!
After two hours, we started wondering if we should turn back. We could see our campground on the other side of the river, and hear campers laughing, talking, etc. But we couldn’t get there. We had seen a sign that said the trail we were on led to the highway, but couldn’t remember exactly how far.
We kept walking….
I was starting to mentally replay scenes I remembered seeing on the news about lost hikers rescued after 24, 48 hours severely dehydrated. It wouldn’t have been so stressful if we weren’t carrying a 1 and 3 year old. But we weren’t lost. We knew exactly where we were, we just didn’t know how to get across the river!
3.5 hours in we were out of water and getting tired. Kim started talking about swimming across the river or trying to find a log we could use to cross. That is not going to happen with the babies, I said.
Luckily, amazingly, the kids were very cooperative and patient. They dozed as we walked through thick brush along a barely visible trail, over fallen trees, constantly searching for a bridge.
4 hours after we had set out for what we thought would be just an hour-long hike, we found it! RELIEF!!!!
We came across some fishermen who generously gave us each a bottle of water, then a nice girl picked us up on the side of the road and dropped us at our campground.
What an adventure!