We Were There - 2017
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"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.
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.
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.