Sawtooth Trail No. 1401

December 3, 1978

Six nonmembers turned out early Sunday, 3rd December, for a scheduled 14-mile hike on Sawtooth Trail in the Lowell Ranger District, taking in the two former fire lookouts on Hardesty (4,279 ft.) & June (4,616 ft.) Mountains, which this well maintained trail connects.

A very prompt get-away saw the party at trailhead, top of Crale Creek Road, just before 9:00 a.m. Weather looked promising at this time. Pushing on at a good pace and to the accompaniment of rifle shots in the middle/close distance (Does deer season never end?) we arrived at the top of Hardesty, a sprinkle of snow already on the ground.

Looking across at June Mountain, our route looked tantalizingly close. Heavier snow hanging in the trees and dropping constantly onto the trail was the equivalent of a heavy rainfall. And getting colder! Passed Sawtooth Rock (4,250 ft.) and the open, exposed parts of Sawtooth Trail, still good view, but snow on the ground now thickening. Eventually arrived at the old lookout site, with a wet, gray, threatening sky moving in on us rapidly. The by-then-fragmented group lunched vertically in record time, and started back. Wildlife seen was nil, but many deer tracks in the snow were noted, also rabbit and mouse (?) at one point. (The many dormant rhodies along this trail stirred an interest in rewalking it again next year when these flowers are in bloom.) All segments of the party arrived back at the cars within minutes of each other . . . and the rapidly deteriorating weather hurried us back down to Highway 58 and Eugene. “Sawtoothers” were: (2 L.O.s) Margaret Crosland, Dwight Blasier & leader John Cecil; (1 L.0.) Eleanor Wilderson, Richard Eden, Marian Streeter &am; Bobby Kalbfleisch.


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