Beazell Forest field trip

I tried to get a little creative on this photo with leaves from a tree framing third graders Abigail Greeley, left, and Brooke Griswold as they take part in the macroinvertebrates lab along Plunkett Creek.

With the rain falling lightly through the trees and the temperatures cooling off a bit, I had a fun side trip to Beazell Memorial Forest this morning to cover a field trip involving Philomath Elementary third graders.

The conditions actually felt pretty good, but of course it can be a bit of a challenge when it comes to shooting photos. I purchased a rain hood for my camera a while ago (several wet weather soccer games led me to make the purchase). Although it keeps my camera dry, it can sure be a challenge trying to focus or look through the viewfinder without my glasses fogging up. Thank goodness for auto-focus.

But the trip out there reminded me of some of the beauty we have here in Benton County. It’s been probably been four or five years now, but I did a few hikes out there in the past. They were pretty simple hikes, one of them I remember was the Plunkett Creek Trail loop.

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Beazell and Plunkett. Where did those names come from?

Well, on your way into the Beazell parking area, you’ll pass the Plunkett House. Built circa 1870, it was the home of Kings Valley pioneers James and Ashnah Plunkett. Ashnah Plunkett was the daughter of Lucius and Hopestill Norton and was reportedly the first pioneer child born in Kings Valley. James Plunkett served at Fort Hoskins between 1855 and 1865.

This property remained in the Plunkett family until the 1960s and was eventually purchased by Fred Beazell, who willed it to Benton County in 2000. It opened as a county park three years later.

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