Lowder Mtn & Quaking Aspen Swamp

February 20, 1977

Since our scheduled skiing destination (Hoodoo to Fish Lake) was virtually snowless, we substituted a hike to Lowder Mtn. Imagine driving to the trailhead in February! We found the trail dry, the skies cloudy, and the wind gusty. We crossed the snow covered plateau on top for a view of familiar mountains from Jefferson to the Sisters, and the frozen lakes below the cliff. We learned about pressure holes in the ice and speculated about the burrows and dirt mounds made by small animals beneath the snow and visible in bare spots.

After a lunch in the shelter of trees, uneasiness about wind and weather sped us toward the cars. However, adventurous spirits overcame trepidation when we found the old abandoned trail shortcut to the swamp, and Dot Leland offered to lead us down for a closer look at the snowy swamp and the quaking aspen grove. Matt found bear tracks and we saw many elk tracks. Back at our cars at 2:00 p.m. we congratulated ourselves that we had won our race with the rainstorm and no trees had blown across the road. The lucky hikers were Dot Leland, Marian Mathews, Ann and Leona Mattson, Merle Traudt, Matt and Pat Williams, and Velma Shirk, the leader.

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