November 8, 1981
Twenty three hikers converged on the Box Canyon Guard Station from two different directions (Westfir & Blue River) escaping the pall of fog hanging gloomily over the Willamette Valley. The pre-hike introductions brought to light four visitors to Oregon: Pat and Mary from Colorado, Lasse from Finland and the Obsidians’ own, Christine Lingneau a visitor from France.
This year the trailhead was signed, indicating that the newly added switchbacks have added l½ miles to our r/t distance. At the midpoint of our upward ascent, a few inches of snow obscured the trail enough so that four of our party (the front runners leading the leader) took a wrong turn and bushwhacked a bit before regaining the trail proper.
When the main group topped the ridge, the leader was pleased to note that the Forest Service had re-signed the abrupt turnoff to Chucksney with a clearly seen sign facing the oncoming hiker, this in place of the old sign placed end on and not always seen. It was close to l:00 p.m. when we reached our destination, and no time was wasted digging out lunch sacks. The view was good, though the Sisters-Broken Top-Bachelor quintet were drabber than they had been just two weeks earlier. The first early snow cover had been too light to stand up to the ensuing spell of warm weather.
Lunch out of the way, Betty Legris reached into her pack and what did appear but a white frosted cake for Lee’s 60th year, compliments of wife Elsie. The raucous but spirited rendition of HAPPY BIRTHDAY that followed caught Lee Hatch completely off guard and Lee flustered and blustered just like you always knew he would. As the multitude eyed the smallish cake, perhaps secretly wondering how it could be cut into 23 pieces, Betty dug deep into her pack and brought forth a 2nd Cake! Later a 3rd cake!! And finally a 4th cake!! Sort of like the parable of the fish and the loaves. Bill Thomas produced a beautiful, long bladed knife from Finland and the cakes were divided into twenty four generously sized portions.
Two hours later we were firing up our cars, ready to head out for Westfir and Highway 58, a loop trip for all but Millard and Ralph who had come in that way. Enjoying the hike and the sunshine were John Cecil, Margaret Crosland, Bob and Pat Dark, Jack and Joella Ewing, Fran Gnose, Wilbur Groner, Lee Hatch, Betty Legris, Lasse Lidstrom, Christine Lingneau, Glenn Meares, Ralph Nafziger, Wes Prouty, Pat Sterling, Gene Thaxton, Bill Thomas, Millard Thomas, Doris and Merle Traudt, Mary Vogel, and leader Bob Devine.