Hell’s Half Acre

July 11, 1976

Party assembled at 9 a.m. under threatening skies. Seven German students (at U.O. for a 6-week course in computer science) came along as far as the trailhead, but only three braved the rain and joined the rest in the short but steep hike to Hell’s Half Acre. Four Germans in a rented car decided to visit Bend instead, one newcomer to Oregon, Mamie Scott, decided to wait in the dry car for our return. Through gradually increasing liquid sunshine and fog we hiked along the barely-visible trail, crossing Swamp Creek and then climbing steadily for a little over a mile (“a mile up, a little ‘over’”). Pouring rain and bright fog greeted us as we broke out into the open meadow mysteriously called “Hell’s Half Acre” (it’s more than half an acre and in sunshine it’s more like a Garden of Eden). We sought refuge under a tree and gulped down our sandwiches before they’d get too soggy. Neither Verdun Rock nor its rocky neighbor east of the Acre was visible (not that anybody insisted on completing the hike to Verdun Rock). We headed back for the cars, got lost briefly in the thickening fog and departed by 2 p.m. Trip leader volunteered to show the three Germans the hot springs on the way back. We soaked in the hot water while rest of party returned to Eugene.

Going along were: Chuck Berkey, Helen Hughes, Clarence Landes, Klaus Lohman (Germany), Martin? (Germany), Mamie Scott, Margaret Seeley, Velma Shirk, Dorothy Turner, Wilfried Zepfner (Germany), Alex Ziel, and Helmut Plant, leader.

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