Lowder Mt. & Quaking Aspen Swamp

June 19, 1976

the 19th of June was cool and cloudy when we left Eugene shortly after 8 a.m. As we approached the mountains, clearing skies brought forth the warm sun which we enjoyed the remainder of the day. Three carloads were able to make their way within a quarter of a mile of the trail head, being stopped by snow and fallen logs.

Finding the trail beyond its head was quite a chore as many downed trees and fallen branches obscured the trail for several hundred feet. Once over the mass of twisted tree trunks, broken branches and fir needles we had good trail head with an occasional fallen tree to go over, under or around. This is the first time I have found so much debris on the Lowder Mt. trail, but we all managed to reach our destination—the top of Lowder Mt. Snow patches on the trail were not too frequent, but the top of the mountain was covered up to three ft. in some areas. Before reaching the top we enjoyed a snack, a view of the haze covered mountains, and a look at the wild flowers at the Rock Garden. Then lunch was eaten on Lowder Mountain’s east cliff where we could see the partially defrosted jewel lakes (I’ll call them Emerald and Jade) below us, or lift our eyes to gaze toward the smoky mountains. Controlled fires were burning in the forest causing an acrid smell in the mountain air and filling the valleys, especially French Pete, with smoke. The high Cascade air currents dispersed much of the haze, and enabled us to see the snow covered high peaks from Bachelor on the south to Hood in the north.

Leaving Lowder Mt., its beautiful view and snow covered terrain, we backtracked to a meadow above Quaking Aspen Swamp. An abandoned trail meanders down the meadow into virgin forest and emerges at the edge of the Swamp near the clump of quaking aspen. We skirted the marshy, wet swamp in a counter-clockwise direction walking over deep snow through the forest until we reached a narrow, fast running stream. We all successfully jumped the breach and were ready for a well-earned rest stop. The trail up to the East Fork road was clear of snow, but was crossed by some fallen timber. It was after 5:00 p.m. before we reached the cars for the trip back to Eugene. The 14 hikers enjoying the outing were: Matt Armon, Renee Armon, Shelly Armon, Marjie Butterfield, Marj Koblas, Dorothy Leland, Aileen Lynam, Al Lynch, Helen Lynch, Vern Nelson, Lois Schreiner, leader, Helen Smith, Greg Wannier, Alex Ziel.

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