Okay, I have no explanation of this one but I personally think I time travelled a bit. A friend and I decided to go up and hit Bagby hot springs, as Portlanders tend to do, and we headed out after dark because spending most of a night soaking in the tubs then meandering home as the sun came up was a great way to spend an evening.
I live in SE Portland, so the way you get to Bagby from here is to take Hwy 224 out to Indian Henry Campground and around there 224 becomes National Forest Road 46. You take 46 to NF-63, then turn off on NF-70 to get to the Bagby trailhead. No problem, done it a gazillion times.
However, at that time there had been a huge landslide across 224 just after Indian Henry so the road was closed right at Three Lynx. Still not a problem–I had helped out a rural postal carrier with a flat tire and she told me the seekrit backroad way to bypass the landslide, take some really dinky narrow logging roads, all rutted dirt, that would drop you out on the other side of the landslide closure, right near Alder Flats campground. This is the way we went, joined up with 46 at Alder Flat, continued on to the 63 turnoff then the 70, got to the trailhead and hiked up to the hot springs.
While we were there we got into a conversation with another couple in the tub we were in and they asked how we got there, since with the closure on 224 you pretty much had to come in past Timothy Lake, a much longer way around. I told them the route and they asked “But how did you get past the road closure?” and I thought they meant 224 so I told them about the back way through Three Lynx and they said “No, the OTHER closure, on 46 after the Ripplebrook Ranger Station, it’s been there for weeks” and we were confused AF because we’d driven right past Ripplebrook on the way and no road closure. So we just chalked it up to a misconception on the other couple’s part and thought no more of it.
Got done soaking, hiked back to the car, got in and took 70, then 63 as normal and sure as shit, not more than a quarter mile after the turnoff onto 46 we hit a spot where the road was closed, with bulldozers parked all over the road and bigass boulders lined up blocking the way between 63 and Ripplebrook and we were all WTF because just a few hours before we’d driven right past that spot and there was nothing of the sort there. Parked the car, got out, confirmed that yes, there was a big section of the road washed out, the bulldozers were definitely there and so was another big line of boulders on the other side of the washout blocking 46. Ended up having to backtrack along 63 and take a very roundabout route out to Hwy 26 to get home, took hours longer than the trip out to Bagby.
I have no explanation for how this came to be–if you look at a map of the area you can see there are NO other roads I might have accidentally gotten on to that would get me to the 63 turnoff because there’s a river running right next to most of these roads and they only put in the barest minimum of bridges necessary to get the logging trucks through. Very few of the roads are even paved, mostly only the two digit numbered roads–the ones that branch off from those are numbered in four figures, the first two being the number of the road where it started, like 4620 or 6310 and those are all dirt roads that don’t really GO anywhere, they’re just there to bring harvested logs down.
So yeah, kinda odd, that. It was a memorable night and an awesome soak though.