We Were There - 2017
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Trail Maintenance on Little North Fork Trail, June 17
After making such great progress on the May 27 logout of Little North Fork, a group of us went back to cut out the remaining logs. Most of the remaining 9 logs were large, so each one took patience and perseverance using our cross-cut saws. It was a long day, but well worth the effort. In total, our volunteers removed 42 logs from the trail in two trips. A truly amazing accomplishment! We all had fun and treated ourselves to a stop at the DQ on the way home. Our hard-working crew included James Sealy, Lee Slattum, Tom Burke, Gary Westphal and leader, Jean Gabriel.
Table Rock, June 13
An optimistic group of hikers headed up the trail under overcast, drippy skies, knowing the sun would be shining by the time we reached the summit. After the first 1.5 carefree-miles through forest, we realized we were about two weeks too early for this hike, not only to find great wildflower blooms, but also to find the trail itself. After a brief search for the snow-covered trail on the north side of Table Rock, we emerged from the forest to gaze across a snow-covered slope. We knew we had reached the large rockslide, so gingerly made our way across the snow, which was firm enough to keep from post-holing down through the rocks, but soft enough for purchase on the slope. After crossing the snowfield we continued on bare ground beneath the soaring basalt cliffs and back into the snow-free forest. We encountered another short patch of snow on the final .4-mile section to the summit, but the summit itself was snow-free. A few small patches of pink phlox greeted us.
A cloud mass covered the summit of Table Rock and probably the entire Cascade Range, so we could only image the great mountain views during lunch. On our return we decided to avoid the snow-covered trail on the north side and took the old cat road down to its junction with the official trail near the old trailhead. Thanks to Mary Coleman for finding the social “trail” and leading us cross-country down to intersect with the old cat road. And thanks to game hikers for taking on a bit more adventure than we had expected: Jan Taylor, Mady Kimmich, Stephen Gram, Scott Torgeson, Vivienne Torgeson, Mary Coleman, Corky Moore, guests Marcel Conley and Art Souther, and leader Roz Shirack.
Pamelia Lake to Milk Creek, June 7
Eleven adventurers headed into the Jefferson Wilderness, bravely charging into the unknown! Would there be drifts of snow? Blowdown? Evil doers? We joyfully reached our destination on the PCT at Milk Creek amidst a mass of early summer blooms and Mt. Jefferson in all his glory. A good time was had meeting new friends and old along this classic, beautiful trail. Hikers were: Susan Hoskins, Mark Rowe, Steve Gram, Don Moung, Bev Hassell, Marcia Hoak, Mary Liepins, Bonnie Arrias, Ralph Nafziger, Marcia Kenagy and Mary Coleman, ldr.
Santiam Wagon Road, June 6
It was a warm, sunny day for a hike. We were grateful for breezes during and after lunch. We started at House Rock, and hiked four miles on a lovely trail upstream to the knoll Bill Sullivan recommends for a destination. Perfect spot for lunch; it feels like the "top of the forest" from Winnie the Pooh stories! The wildflower of the day was wild iris, which we saw hundreds of. Members Robbie Earon, Corriene Thompson, Rosanna Wilson, and George Struble, leader.
Brice Creek waterfalls, June 5
Sunny skies, four beautiful waterfalls and majestic Douglas-fir old growth greeted nine Chemeketans and Obsidians on this hike in the Umpqua National Forest in south Lane County. One of our number discovered an impressive triple falls along Brice Creek, which was a bonus, and a couple of hikers soaked their feet in the creek above Upper Parker Falls. As with so many Chemeketans outings, it seemed a perfect day. Hikers: Sylvia de Lacy, Mady Kimmich, Rob Kimmich, John Levy, Jorma Meriaho, Lynette Olesen, Rich Romm, Art Souther and leader Jim Sellers.
Stahlman Point Trail Maintenance, June 3
On National Trails Day, 11 Chemeketan volunteers cut back brush along the lower portion of the Stahlman Point trail and did tread work in various spots along the trail. The brushing crew started where our volunteers left off on April 22 and finished the job. Nicely done! The tread improvements included widening the trail and repairing the tread base in areas that had been badly sloped or sunken. We also cleaned eight drains that had been clogged with debris. I'm sure these improvements will be appreciated by our club as well as other hikers on the trail. This hard working crew, making a difference included: Mike DeLaune, Susan DeLaune, Dave Foulger, Norris Jackson, Brett Milliken, Matt Reike, Joanne Schiedler, Lee Slattum, Ralph Scott, Ruth Scott, and crew leader Jean Gabriel.
Henline Mountain, May 31
It was a leap of faith to head up Henline Mountain when the weather looked questionable but our gamble paid-off. It was a super day to tackle the steep climb to the summit where we had sunshine and great views of the surrounding landscape. Hikers were Blanka Truneckova, Deanna Davis, Bonnie Arias, Mary Coleman, Dave Carter, Scott Torgeson, guest Bob Stai and leader Vivienne Torgeson.
Butteville to Champoeg, May 29
Memorial Day was cool and overcast, providing perfect walking weather. We got to the park early enough to beat the crowds and had a nice walk from the Butteville Store to the Champoeg visitor center, where we ate our lunches and enjoyed the bookstore and exhibits. Along for the walk were first-time guest Susan Harper and members Pam Ferrara, Katy Dockter, and Elizabeth Seibert, leader.
Marys Peak, May 28
Eleven of us had a perfect spring day on Marys Peak. The flowers were a few weeks behind, but we had a fine showing of phlox, blue-eyed Marys, and paint brush and fine views in all directions.
Hikers were: Gayle Smith, Eileen Harder, Kathy Rutherford, Carol Ovesen (first qualifier), Anita Owen, Angela Bailey, Dan Moung, Roz Shirack, Joanne Schiedler, Ralph Nafziger and Mary Coleman, ldr.
Trail Maintenance on Little North Fork Trail, May 27
It was a rough winter for the Little North Fork trail, leaving it cluttered with about 40 downed trees. Our 10-person crew of hard working Chemeketans used cross-cut saws and folding saws to remove 33 logs from the trail. We left some large logs that would have taken considerable time with cross-cut saws, but we took the time to clear branches and make the logs easier to get over, under or around. The air was filled with sounds of sawing, chopping, driving wedges with axes and laughter. What a fabulous day and an awesome accomplishment! This team of energetic and secretly addicted to sawing Chemeketans included Dave Foulger, Gary Westphal, Bill Caldwell, Zsa DuBois, Lee Slattum, Ken Ash, Eileen Harder, Allan King, Dave Carter and leader Jean Gabriel.
Cape Lookout Dawdler Hike, May 24
Zsa DuBois, Ken Ash, Mary Gaines, and Ron Rhodehamel enjoyed a day at the Oregon Coast on May 24. We hiked the trail from the Cape Lookout parking lot trailhead to the viewing/picnic area at the end of the trail. The weather was mild; we had a mixture of mist and sunshine with one light rain shower and only a slight breeze. The views of the ocean were spectacular. The water was an abnormally turquoise color, reminding us all of Hawaii. After the hike, we enjoyed refreshments at the Pelican Pub in Pacific City.
Rooster Rock, May 23
For a hiking season replete with downed trees and wash-outs, this hike was a gem! Nothing to climb over, good trail surface, and a beautiful day to spend looking at spring flowers and a view of snowy Three Sisters. The fortunate group included Mary Coleman, Deanna Davis, and Rob and Mady Kimmich (leader).
Clear Lake, May 22
We had thought there would be too much snow at Clear Lake, but there were just a few patches -- not a problem. The temperature in Salem was 90, and we were warm too. But Clear Lake was as scenic as ever, and the trail is a delight. We saw trilliums, wood violets, and a few calypso orchids. There were rivers feeding the lake where I had never seen water before, and the McKenzie River was quite vigorous. We took the side trip down to Sahalie Falls, where there was an insane amount of water coming over the falls! Guest Barbara Skog, members Nassie Danesh, Robbie Earon, Dan and Judy Vaughn, and George Struble, leader.
Old Bridge in Table Rock Wilderness, May 17
Early season enthusiasm brought many eager hikers out of winter doldrums. Because of 12 person limit in the wilderness, I had to regretfully turn away a half dozen hikers. We were hoping for dry conditions, but had to be happy with damp as we climbed up 1730 feet to our lunch meadow. (Yes, I put 1300 in the bulletin, but this group of tigers didn't flinch.) Due to the late spring, the flowers were still in hiding. Are we 2-3 weeks behind??
Hikers: Marcia Kenagy, Vivienne Torgeson, Ric and Susan LaTour, Peter and Sandi Simons, Kathy Moreland, Gayle Smith, Joanne Schiedler, Corky Moore (2nd qualifier), Joan Zuber and Mary Coleman, ldr.
Dog Mt, May 10
We hiked to the top of Dog Mt under sunny skies and through gorgeous wildflowers. When we broke out of the forest at the first meadow viewpoint, there were plenty of ooh's and aah's, especially from the hikers new to Dog Mt. I hike Dog Mt every year and am still impressed with it's flower show. The balsam root in the top meadow was not yet in full bloom. But this gave the prolific ballhead waterleaf a chance to shine, turning the upper meadow a light lavender. After a leisurely lunch at the summit we returned the way we came on the main Dog Mt. trail, enjoying the flowers anew.
Hikers were Rick Cooper, Nancy Rockwell, Ann Wulff, Melissa Beyer, Ken Ash, Bonnie Arias, Leigh Weir, and leader Roz Shirack.
Historic Willamette and Tualatin River, May 9
On a lovely sunny day, after an unscheduled stop for a AAA call to change a flat tire, we enjoyed a leisurely walk to Bernert Landing on the Willamette River and Historic Old Willamette. After lunch we visited Field Bridge Park on the Tualatin River to learn about ice age floods and the Willamette Meteorite. Along for the day were members Corriene Thompson, Janet Templar and leader Susan Hoskins plus guest John Upjohn.
Sweet Creek Falls Dawdler, May 8
What a gorgeous day! Couldn't ask for better. From the Homestead Trailhead we hiked up along the cascading stream, stopping at every possible viewpoint to see what the creek was doing. Running full, and with the many waterfalls, ranging from several feet in height to maybe 100 feet or more. Where the trail turns uphill to see the upper falls from above, my three companions went to the viewpoint while I sat and talked to another hiker who had also been there before. We discussed trails we liked. Long drive over but well worth it. Companions were Patsy Smith, Sandy Harris and Robbie Earon. Leader Paula Hyatt.
Beazell Memorial Forest, May 7
Found a beautiful dry day to hike at Beazell Forest and Fort Hoskins. Flowers were still a little shy but did see a good variety of Spring blooms and an abundance of Oregon Iris at Fort Hoskins. Included in this serene hike were Sandi and Peter Simons, Clifford Hartman, Joyce Armstrong, Ken Ash, Sarah Boomer, Doris deLespinasse, Leslie McClintock, Eric Destival and leader Phyllis Benanti.
Urban Hike: SE Portland, May 7
After hiking only a few hundred yards, I saw a magnificent Bald Eagle swooping in an arch less than 100 feet away. I was so taken back that I froze, unable to retrieve my camera nor speak. A second eagle soon appeared, as well as the rest of the hikers and we enjoyed the sight for several minutes until a small bird chased them away. The hike through the gardens was beautiful with the rhoddies in full bloom. Other birds seen, often with young, were Canada Geese, Mallards, Wood Ducks and Little Green Herons. Next we hiked through Reed Canyon and parts of the campus to eventually arrive at our lunch stop at Laughing Planet. From there we hiked back to the car through the campus then traveled by car to view street art along and around SE Foster Road.
Members: Janet Templar, second hike qualifier: Anita Owen, leaders wife: Marjorie Wallace and leader: Wayne Wallace
Croisan Scenic Trail + three city parks, May 3
Five members and five guests joined leader for an evening hike which included Croisan Scenic Trail, Nelson Park, Sunnyslope Park, Fircrest Park and Dogwood Trail. Nice (warm) weather and many trees and flowers blooming made for a good evening walk. Members included Becky Engeln, Zha DuBois, Ken Ash, Ron Rhodehamel, Susan Arbor and leader Neil Peterson. Guests (and soon to be members) included Peter and Sandy Simons, Pamela Vasquez, Suzanne Strite, and Anita Owen. It was a delightful evening-
Valley of the Giants , May 3
After postponing the hike a week due to bad weather, we enjoyed a clear 75 degree day at the Valley of the Giants. We hiked the short trail through the Old Growth stand then ate lunch beside the Siletz River. We made a short stop at the Falls City Falls on our way back to Salem. Hikers were Neil Peterson,Robbie Earon,Bev Hassell,and Bill Caldwell Leader.
Henline Mt and Falls, April 30
This close-in trail provided a nice hike through the forest. We ran into significant snow at about 3,800 ft. and turned around before reaching the 4,116-ft lookout site. Trail is in good shape. There is one downed log over the trail, but it can be ducked under. We also stopped at the Henline Falls trailhead for the short hike into the falls. Spring flowers (lambs tongue, oxalis, and trillium) were abundant. Henline Falls was raging and the creek was beautiful due the recent heavy rains. Road 2209 to the trailheads is full of huge potholes. High clearance vehicles recommended. Hikers were Tim Taylor, Blanka Truneckova, Rick Cooper, Nancy Rockwell, and leader Roz Shirack.
Memaloose Hills Hike , April 29
Including the leader, we had a group of fifteen hikers eager to enjoy the beautiful weather and hike. The trip participants included members Ted Young, Ken Ash, Zsa Du Bois, Susan and Ric La Tour, Bev Hassell, Sharon Wright, Ann Wulff, Ann Hanus, Susan Laing, Karen Craven,Dave Folger and leader Georgienne Young. Also joining us were two soon-to-be members Diana Stallard and Jean Palmateer who had their membership application signed after the hike.
From our lunch spot on the top of Chatfield Hill, we had clear views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams, views east and west along the Columbia River, Coyote Wall on the Washington side, the blooming fruit orchards in the valley, and a myriad of wild flowers from the moment we hit the trail. Our hiking pace was slowed by the necessity of frequent flower identification, admiration and photography. It was truly a floral wonderland.
After the hike and before the drive home to Salem, we headed to Edgefield where we enjoyed beverages while sitting outside at a picnic table, continuing to bask in the sun and warm air and enjoy each other's company.
Jawbone Flat, April 27
Only three hardy souls decided to brave the weather, and we are glad we did! The cascades and waterfalls were spectacular. There were streams running in every canyon, gully and ditch. In some places, the road was an actual stream bed. We saw a flock of 50 or 60 migrating canaries. The old machinery and vehicles made great photo opportunities. Hikers included leader Zsa DuBois, Ken Ash and Gayle Smith.
Camassia Natural Area, April 22
The rain stopped for our exploration of the beautiful Camassia Natural Area and Wilderness Park in West Linn. Hikers Sylvia Dawson,
Robbie Earon, Mary Elliott and Roz Shirack enjoyed the wild flowers with leader Rosamund Irwin.
Dimple Hlll, April 22
Our hike thru the forest was perfectly timed between spring showers. We enjoyed spring flowers and a beautiful view at the top of Dimple Hill. After the hike we went into Corvallis for pastries at Le Patissier and lunch at Market of Choice. Hikers were Judi Morris, qualifying hikers Debby Corey, Sylvia Wengenroth, Taunie Murray, guest Renee Gann and leader Beverly Hassell.
Little North Fork, April 17
Our intrepid group of five enjoyed a cool and damp hike along the Santiam River, which featured beautiful and very full rapids and falls. Lots of downed trees gave us extra exercise, especially on the eastern slope of the ridge. We started at Elkhorn Road, turned back at the final bridge before Shady Cove where a fallen tree has damaged the bridge and blocked the crossing. Hikers included Jim Sellers, Mary Beth Downs, Rich Romm, qualifier Corky Moore, and leader Mady Kimmich.
Cascade Head Hike, April 15
We happened upon a rare, glorious sunny spring day for our hike. Large areas of skunk cabbages were in brilliant, full bloom and the ocean view was spectacular. The trail was often about 5” deep in mud, but nobody minded. Our lunch stop at the top was enjoyable, with barely a hint of an ocean breeze. A few hikers enjoyed a noon nap. Everyone was thankful to leader, Don, for ordering such a perfect day! Hikers included: Steve Gram; Naomi Jones (first Chemeketan hike); Rosanna Wilson; Dave Foulger; Joanne Schiedler; Trish Winkler; Mary Coleman; Bev Hassell; Eileen Harder; Mary Liepins; Don Gallagher (ldr.)
Dimple Hill, April 12
Regardless of predicted rain,four outstanding members braved the hike to reach Dimple Hill. Turned out we didn't receive ANY rain, the wind was calm and the temperature mild. Enjoyed lunch at the bench along with a view of the valley.
New members Dan and Judy Vaughan, Larry Vuylsteke, Kathy Moreland and leader Barb Schram all agreed we'd picked a good day, after all, to make this hike.
Independence River Trail, April 8
Again, we played "try to dodge the rain drops". None while on the River Trail. Yes while walking after lunch at the park up into the town of Independence; no while walking around town after a pleasant visit to the Independence Heritage Museum where two docents helped explain some of the exhibits. We just enjoyed looking over the rest. Then, pouring rain after leaving the bakery on Main Street and returning to our cars parked in Riverfront Park down by the river. Dressed for the cool weather and rain were leader Paula Hyatt with Robert Roner, Robbie Earon and Jane Maute.
Smith Rock, April 1
We got an early start for the 3 hour trip to more arid terrain. We all enjoyed the sun and warmer weather after all this rain! Due to flooding on the trail, the group was good about going up Burma Rd, down the Summit trail, back up and over Misery Ridge. We then went a mile south on the River trail to see the sights and passed people who made it through the flooded area! Oh, well, we got in 8 miles with 1800 elevation gain. Great day with Matt Rieke, who agreed to drive so all 6 of us could travel together, Mark Rowe, Cathy Jensen, Dave Foulger, Tom Davis, and leader Deanna Davis
Lewis and Clark and Tryon Creek Dawdler Hike, March 31
Nine of us made the trip to SW Portland on one of the first beautiful spring days that we’ve had this year. We entered Tryon Creek State Park from the north near the Lewis and Clark campus and walked south along the North Horse Loop Trail where we saw hundreds of trilliums. Then we took the Maple Ridge Trail followed by the Center Trail to the park headquarters where we took a break and enjoyed the company of some charming junior nature day campers. We then continued south along the Terwilliger bike path and cut east into the exclusive Dunthorpe neighborhood. We ended our day by exploring the Lewis and Clark campus including the Frank Manor Estate Gardens. Trip participants included Nassie Danesh who was in the process of becoming a member and members Pat Simila, Phyllis Benanti, Lin Crimshaw, Gerda Norman, Janet Templar, Greda van Veen, Kathy Rutherford and leader Carol Soderberg.
Skyline & CroisanTrails , March 27
On these scenic trails thru forest and meadows we enjoyed seeing clusters of trilluims and a family of deer. Hikers were Judi Morris, Nanci Chambers, Jane Lamb and leader Beverly Hassell
North Fork Hike, March 25
A little drizzly on this morning, but the weather forecast was for a dry day. I had heard reports of downed trees and washed out trails, so I was a little hesitant at first, but then Dave Foulger showed up at the PAR and said "Lets go, I'll drive". So off we went and had a great time. A few downed trees over the trail, but passible either over or under. Plenty of high water which in the end shorted our trip at about the 1.5 to 2 mile mark we had to turn around. A stream was running to high and it was to risky to cross. The North Fork was running wild and beautiful. Rick Jorgensen leader, and member Dave Foulger in attendance.
"In the steps of ...", March 21
Rain was threatened, but held off. By mid-afternoon the sun was shining. This hike, at the Trappist Abbey of Our Lady of Guadalupe, near the town of Lafayette, was written up by Bill Sullivan in the Statesman Journal on January 1, so we did it. The Brother in the gift shop was helpful, and gave us maps. But there are few useful signs at trail intersections. We hiked up 750 feet in two miles, and found excellent views of the valley at the shrine at the top. We ate lunch there, including some of the excellent fruitcake that Bill enjoined us to buy from the gift shop. We returned on some different trails, including a longer detour than planned because of leader's navigation error. Part of the hike is through oak savanna, and part through forest. The trails were excellent, but very muddy; one of our hikers slipped and fell twice (but no damage). We recommend this hike for drier weather. Our hikers included -- all members -- Nanci Chambers, Debra Driscoll, Eileen Harder, Bev Hassell, Judi Morris, and George Struble, leader.
Shellburg Falls, March 19
We started out with fog on the road through the cow pasture. The weather improved into a sunny day was we progressed. The falls were running full with lots of spray as we passed under. We stopped for a lunch break at the camp ground shelter and then had a pleasant and sunny return down the August Mountain Trail. We also used the new Chemeketan Cutoff Trail built by the Chemeketan trail maintenance volunteers last year. Participants were Lon Johnson, Mike Delaune, Susan Delaune, Judi Morris, Susan Perdue, Jane Maute, Alice Laffey and ldr Bill Wylie.
Willamette Mission State Park, March 16
Our group of 6 didn't let the flooding Willamette River prevent us from getting in a quick 4-mile hike on the higher ground at Willamette Mission Park. With more rain predicted, we thoroughly enjoyed our morning in the sun. All want to return to the park for a longer adventure when the weather improves. Guests: Barbara Bassett and Tracy Rees. Members: Mary Coleman, Joanne DeMay, Marcia Kenagy and Linda Willnow, leader.
Joryville Park, March 13
Tuesday Dawdlers with Paula seem to like the drizzly weather we have been having. This time, the creek was roaring and pretty, but the muddy path at the east end of the bridges deterred us from trying to go further. Backtracking, we went up the west side trail, also muddy but not discouraging, until we reached the meadow. Rain let up a bit, and we followed the edge of the meadow (quite dry underfoot) back to the trail into the old picnic area. Deciding not to slip-slide down on a sloppy trail, we returned to the parking lot (drizzling again by now) via the old road. Joining Paula were her "regulars" Robbie Earon and Robert Roner.
Clear Lake Snow Shoe, March 4
We were blessed with a beautiful day weatherwise. Some light snow, a little blue sky & sunshine. We had quite the adventure! More than any of us bargained for. This was a definite team effort where we had to overcome some obstacles & push ourselves a bit. We had 3 bridge crossings. All 3 were piled high with snow up to the side railings. The first bridge was over the lake making it impossible to get on top of the snow bank on the bridge without the chance of someone falling in the lake so we opted to remove our snow shoes & cross next to the side railing where we had about 6 inches of width for our feet. The second bridge was more of a challenge & we were now 4 hrs. into our snowshoe. This bridge was not crossable. So the guys decided we would go down the snow bank beside the bridge, some of us literally slid down, then walked across a dry river bed (thank goodness it was dry or we would have had to turn back) and climbed up the snow bank on the other side under the bridge to get back on the trail. What FUN!!! We all made it despite some optimism/doubt, helping each other to get the job done. Our next bridge was the easy one to cross--low to the ground & wide enough to walk across the snow piled on top of it. It was a 5 1/4 mile round trip around the lake that took us 5 1/2 hours. We had rated this an easy-moderate but decided we would rate it difficult next time. And yes some of us want to do it again. Participants were: Tom & Deanna Davis, Vicki Kimpton, Alison Crisi, Larry Vuylsteke, Cathy Jensen & leader Lynnette Olesen.
Chemeketan Route Finding School, February 22 - 26
A record seventy students participated in this year’s Chemeketan Route Finding School. The school was conducted over three days on Feb 22, Feb 25 and Feb 26. The classroom portion of the training was conducted in the Salem Public Library’s Louck’s Auditorium and the field exercises were conducted at nearby Riverfront Park. Louck’s Auditorium is quite large and easily accommodated our group.
The classroom sessions were taught by Steve Dougherty and the field sessions were organized by co-leader Jeff Howell. Steve and Jeff enjoyed the assistance of Linda Bedard, Craig Blanton, Milan Apeltauer, Dr. Mark Olson, Michael DeLaune and Jon Ellis.
After expenses, the school netted a $612.19 profit for the Climbing Committee. Fourteen of the seventy participants chose to apply for or renew their Chemeketan club memberships for an additional $280 in club income.
This year’s training was different in five major ways from previous trainings.
1. The classroom sessions were held at the fabulous Louck’s Lecture Hall.
2. The size of the student notebook was reduced from 30 pages down to 20 pages to reduce printing costs.
3. Each student received a complimentary orienteering compass to provide some quality and consistency.
4. The use of GPS smart phone apps was embraced and most of the students chose to use smart phone apps for the GPS training.
5. The online mapping services “Gaia GPS“ and “Cal Topo” were promoted rather than Steve’s longtime favorite “Terrain Navigator”.
Trappist Abbey, February 21
With Jacquie (and map in hand) as our trail guide, we left the guest center, circled the pond, then headed uphill on the Trunk Road. But wait a minute! I wasn’t planning on an uphill trip. There is much more up, to greater viewpoints, but we turned off on the Rock Road through a meadow, then into the woods. ‘Twas raining lightly for this first segment, but dried as we headed downhill toward the picnic area and our lunch break. A gray day, but still pleasant for this loop which led us back to the center. On a sunny day, all this area will, no doubt, be a great place for a longer hike. Joining leader Paula Hyatt were Jacquie Gossack, Robert Roner, Robbie Earon and Patsy Smith.
Forest Park-Portland, February 11
What a wonderful group of people! I promised them a hike of 8 to 8.5 miles. We hiked over 10 miles AND my new buddies were still talking to me cheerily at the end! (Parking is very limited at Saltzman Road and we had to walk at least 1/2 mile to the trailhead). Our hike included some of the Wildwood and Maple Trails, where we saw a few beautiful, old-growth trees. Hikers included guests Karen Rowe, Thuy Nguyen and members Mark Rowe, Tom Davis, Deanna Davis, Mary Elliott, Ruth Scott and Jan Leland. Leader Debra Dawes
Jean's Jewel, February 11
We had a beautiful blue-sky day to enjoy the view from the summit of Jean's Jewel, a cinder cone that tops out around 5200 feet. Luckily, we had fresh powder to snowshoe through, which was delightful. After leaving the blue-diamonded road, I led our group cross-country with gentle turns around trees flocked with snow. Once at the base of the butte, we found a fairly open corridor to traverse at an angle up the steep slopes. With a great team effort, everyone made it to the top where we soaked in the stunning panoramic view. We lingered in this majestic place enjoying the view of Mt. Washington, Mt. Jefferson, Three Fingered Jack, and the Three Sisters. Members of the A-Team were Brian Lantz, Mona Knapp, Dave Foulger, Gary Westphal, Lynnette Olesen, Becky Engeln, Lee Slattum, and leader Jean Gabriel.
Fairmount Park Trails, February 7
“Rain or shine,” I said. Didn’t plan on snow! Robbie called. I said, “Sure, let’s go.” I called Patsy, she said, “Okay! 9:00 a.m.” Robert called, also wanting to get together with me regarding some old Chemeketan records. (That was for after the hike.) Rain gear on, we did the trails! Not muddy, a nice surprise, considering all the rain we’ve been having! Really, quite a pleasant amble, in spite of the weather. By the time we got back to the playground area of Fairmount Park, it was snowing lightly, but that didn’t last. We added a block or so of local streets. Maybe we enjoyed it partly because we just wanted to get out and walk in the rain. Thanks to my regular dawdlers for joining me. Paula
Croisan Scenic Loop Hike, January 23
Surprise! Always something new to learn. Heading out on this trail which I have traveled many times before, and followed by newcomers Mark and Karen Rowe, Diana Gleason and Renee Gann, I came to a beautiful trail off to the left of the main trail. It looked like the new trail up to the Cunningham Lane trailhead. As I was explaining about the "city park" property along here, I realized I was at the Browning Avenue trailhead. I'd turned left too soon, and I'd never seen this improved trail before. Thanks much to the Friends of CS or SATA for this. We then went down the old alternate trail and continued as planned on the rest of the loop. Nice day, pleasant companions. Mark had his application of membership ready to send in. Leader Paula Hyatt
Shellburg Falls Hike, January 22
The weather at the meet up location was dark and damp, as it was the trailhead. It soon lightened up and by the time we hit the falls, it was sunny with a rainbow in the spray. We had a pleasant walk then, headed to John Neal Memorial Park in Lyons, where we continued our walk. Here we saw mergansers, canada geese, mallards and a colorful blue heron. Leader: Wayne Wallace Members: Sylvia Jackson, Margaret Saxe, and Ruth Hudgens Future Member: Sara Johnson.
Maxwell Butte Sno-Park and Potluck , January 15
After several weeks of tiresome, bothersome, irksome, and intense winter conditions around home, ten Chemeketans met up at the Salem Motor Pool at 6:45 a.m. to put winter back into its place. Two more Chemeketans joined the caravan at Stayton Motor Pool, and after a quick resolution to a chain requirement whoops in Detroit, we were set for introductions in the parking lot of Maxwell Butte Sno-Park by 9 a.m.
Our motto of the day was to have a "JOLLY GOOD" time. A-A-Ron embodied the spirit with a large mariachi hat in full effect. We set off at a gingerly pace towards the north, enjoying the tracks of so many others before us, though soon turned away toward a hardly traveled lumpier and bumpier route, ascending some hills, while hopping and even flopping down some others. The sun was such a blessing and visible treats included Mount Washington, Three Fingered Jack, The Sisters, and Black Butte, though the show-stopper was the size of the snow crystals blanketing the untouched snow; dimes, nickels, and quarter-sized hexagonal prisms were dazzling like the hat of Bill Saur on Mother's Day.
Once at the cabin, we greeted the four MORE Chemeketans that had overnighted and were waiting for us; they had stoked the fire and were stoked for our arrival. We'd loaded up our packs with a potluck lunch, from brats to be roasted by stick in the wood stove, to homemade cornbread, quinoa salad, tea, Italian bread with cheeses and garnishes, apples with dipping action, soup, cookies, chocolate and more cookies, Martinelli's sparkling cider, some additional cookies, and even discontinued Mountain House chicken salad wraps. We fed folks that came wandering in, which included a Detroit District Forestry official that seemed pleased.
After some jolly good times, we dispersed after a thorough clean up and looped around eventually to the automobiles for departure and the assorted “climb with you soon” pleasantries. Climbers included two first-time snowshoers and a new-to-chemeketans climber seeking a signature for a qualifying hike. Mad props to Shonee for the assist and Craig for delivering excellent weather.
Drift Creek Falls, January 14
Eleven adventurous souls braved the freezing temperatures to hike to Drift Creek Falls on Saturday, January 14th. These included members Ann Hanus, Zsa DuBois, Ken Ash, Mary Elliot, Elly Collier, Alan Van Winkle, Ted Young, Georgienne Young (fearless leader) and guests Gayle Smith, Jon Newswanger with his daughter, Kate Newswanger. Perhaps it was the promise of lunch at the Otis Cafe following the hike that brought out such a nice group but the hike was lovely with more water coming over the falls than any of us had previously seen. We all had such a good time that Gayle, Jon and Kate have all signed up to become full-fledged members.