June 17, 1979
It was a party of ten that met under threatening skies for the trip to Rigdon Lakes. “We’re promised forty per cent chance of rain,” observed an optimist, “which means that the sixty per cent chance of clear skies must be up over the lakes.” Thus deluded, we drove off through what was successively an overcast, a drizzle, and a downpour. When we reached the Waldo Lake parking lot, skies momentarily cleared; thereafter, snow, and occasionally sleet, fell. This was evidently one of those rare days in June the poet sings about.
The Rigdon Lakes Triangle, as it is known to some, is enchanted land. Guarded by savage mosquitoes, it is a place many go into hiding. Some suspect that trolls are active. Last year, on the North Fork of the Willamette, along the western limits of the Triangle, a water-monster almost stole the wallet of one of our party; fortunately she had American Express travellers’ checks. Well . . .
Fortunately for us, the snow kept the mosquitoes in their hangars and the trolls in their lairs, and we had the place to ourselves. We passed along the north shore of Waldo westward to the gaging station on the North Fork, then inland to Lake Kiwa, where we were rewarded by grouse, which first “froze” on our approach, then exploded into flight as we drew near. The trail to Lower Rigdon eluded us, but picking up a single trail ribbon, nipped close by deer, we struck out and went cross country through the thin, but damp brush, hitting Lower Rigdon on the nearer, or west shore, rather than the east. Here we found a clearing where we ate and busied ourselves by kindling a warming fire. By the time it was becoming useful, we had to take off; and since we were pressed for time, we came out by the way we had come.
Our companionable group included two exchange students from the University of Massachusetts, Laurie Weinstein & Maryann Wilson, together with the following: Doris Allen, Bob Devine, Betty Legris, Dot Leland, Dorothy & Clarence Scherer, Paula Vehrs, and leader Ted Stern, optimist.