Twins Peak

September 16, 1981

A chatty group of eleven hikers left town at 8:35 in three ears, picked up Helen Smith at the covered bridge near Lowell, and talked our way to the trail head by 10:30. There seemed to be a bit more elevation gain this year than last, though (as Richard Eden pointed out) not near as much as the leader’s guess on the signup sheet. There were several stops to emphasize important points in conservation.

It is a lovely trail, with quite a lot of variation in flora and in geology. The first part is mostly young forest, with some scattered larger fir and hemlock, on sandy soil. After crossing the Pacific Crest Trail, we entered large old-growth trees among enormous rubble-heaps of recent volcanic rock, some showing scratches (striations, if you like) where the rocks have been carved by glaciation. The ponds in the low pockets of the rock flows still had water in a few places, but no mosquitoes. We then came out into the open onto red and orange and purple cinders at the top—steep, too; the only place where Ted Stern had to use his whip as rear guard. We had a grand and friendly view on top, from Mt. Jefferson blinking sleepily at us to the north to Mt. Thielson and Mt. Scott to the south, and lakes of all sizes in all directions. The leisurely lunch in the sun seemed filled with chatter featuring an astonishing juxtapositioning of place names, foreign and domestic, cities and Indian camps, lakes and deserts, granite faces and trails. We walked down and across and stormed up the south Twin, where we took a few pictures and commented on the rock sloping down from a peak which isn’t there on the east side (presumably eaten by glaciers). Then straight down into the crater, a great amphitheater for putting on a Greek tragedy or a flute concert or just running away from home. Then out. On the way down Charley Wright found the junction between the trail as it is and the trail as the map shows it (around the south and the east sides of the mountain) though the leader has been looking for it for three years without success. We hiked faster on the way down (but talked no slower) than we had going up. We stopped in Oakridge to get ice cream and tie up loose ends in the conversations and got home about 5:30. A wise and congenial group: Dallas Cole, Emmy Dale, Phyllis Earley, Richard Eden, Sandra Larsen, Mary Nelson, Roger Nicholls, Fred Schepman, Helen Smith, Ted Stern, Charley Wright, and leader John Powell.

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