Olallie Lookout

July 18, 1982

For a second Sunday running — sunshine in the mountains! and both the 360° view and wildflowers alluded to on trip description materialized and were joyously embraced by 10 enthusiastic hikers. Something for everyone — a fast paced hike to the top for one and a leisurely flower identifying amble for others. The leader can’t remember when that last uphill haul was so fully rewarded — for the west side of the Olallie Lookout trail had a riotous display of color — one that we were too early for in the meadow below, and one also foreign to the wooded sections of trail at lower elevations — where the brilliantly showy flowers were unique in their variation on a theme of white including the voluptuous flowered plumes of beargrass rising out of their stiff grass-like clumps; the six petaled, outward curving, star-shaped flower of queen’s cup (member of the lily family); the delicate 1–1½ inch high bottle-brushy spires of vanilla leaf; the miniature four ‘petaled’ white floral bracts on the ground cover cornus (dogwood family) canadensis or bunchberry; the white buttercup looking anemone or wind flower; and here and there a sturdy specimen of false solomon seal amid sweeping colonies of the more dainty star flowered solomon seal.

But, I digress. What in another season might be felt as the last ‘arduous assault’ on the lookout, was utterly obliterated by the commanding presence of color — the orange-red of Indian paint brush, the deep scarlet red-and-yellow spurred columbine, the deepest blue of larkspur, etc., etc., with a mountain top flecked with an occasional orange agoseris (a dullish orange flower resembling the dandelion) and marked with massive patches of scarlet gilia about to explode into bloom — to selectively mention but two.

After a one to two hour or more pause for lunch, utter relaxation and escape, seven of the group made the side trip to Olallie Meadows — draping themselves on the stoop at the Guard Station for a visit with Richard Eden — this week’s Obsidian resident.

I can’t help but think a special thanks to members and nonmembers alike who made the trip a genuine reminder of the awe and wonder we seemed to share in our time out from the world at home. Those enjoying the day were Harold Busby, Barb Elsen, Moki Honz, Bob Keith, Lillian Keith, Karen Seidel, Marilyn Welding, Ethel Weltman, Mike Wright and leader Lin Pierce.


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