Obsidian Loop

August 22, 1976

Scheduled for August 7 with a signup of nine, postponed to August 15 due to rain, signup dropped to eight, postponed again due to rain until August 22, with a signup of eight of which three finally made the trip.

We started in bright sunshine, with clouds visible in the valley, and good visibility. Everyone we met (and there were lots) said the past three days had been wonderful in the high country. Tents everywhere beginning at Whitebranch creek. Trails in excellent condition, they had even been watered down to settle the dust in our honor. However, the snow removal crews had missed a few spots, mainly just up the Obsidian trail from Whitebranch, a few spots near Obsidian Falls on the Skyline and a few bad areas along Glacier way. At noon the mountains went into seclusion behind a cloud curtain and stayed there.

We were caught by the wilderness ranger, Jim Nelson, and had a fine talk with him about wilderness. Found Charlotte Mills and friend just down off the Middle Sister, and just in time to avoid the clouds. In a more serious contact, we saw four people who asked us the way to the Middle Sister, saying that they had been told it was a four hour trip from the lava to the top. We showed them where the mountain was in the fog, told them it was too late to try and why. They had no equipment of any kind, including proper boots, etc. and apparently did not believe we knew what we were talking about. Came out with occasional light sprinkles and watched many more people going in, for a total of about 100 humans, 2 horses, and 12 dogs.

Hikers were, Kenneth and Robin Lodewick, leaders, and Paula Vehrs.

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