Noonday Trail, Bohemia District

October 9, 1982

With only 3 sign-ups, 2 of them canceling out the morning of departure, the leader (in conference with the Obsidians’ ever dependable Wilbur) decided to change the day’s original game plan. Rebel Rock was out and in its place would be the Noonday Trail, located in the Bohemia District. Following directions from Jerold Williams’ Calapooya Trails, we arrived at the trailhead at 9:15 a.m. It lies at the conflux of Brice and Champion Creeks.

The trail was actually a turn of the century wagon road used to haul supplies to the Bohemia mines. Surprisingly steep in parts, it made me wonder how the horse teams made the grade pulling heavily laden wagons. A fallen tree, 4 feet in diameter, blocks out all motorcycle and 4-wheel drive traffic. Furthermore, the heavy tangle of bushy growth that covers the steep slopes is not an attractive foraging ground for deer, so that kept the hunters out. All this made for a pleasantly quiet outing in one of the prettiest areas I’ve ever hiked through.

By 11:30 we were beginning to wonder if there really were mine shafts alongside the road like the picture shows in Jerold’s booklet. But, when we finally hit “paydirt”, we hit it big! Within a half mile stretch we came upon 4 yawning adits (crossword puzzle word) disappearing into the mountainside. It seemed appropriate that this bonanza should come along at noonday on the Noonday Trail. Much as we would have liked to explore the mines, we didn’t. Prudence played some part in this decision. Lack of flashlight was the foremost deterrent.

But we had many compensating rewards. There were some close encounters with young grouse. Wilbur identified them as females based on their display of tail fans. And for a luncheon vista we had a brilliant display of Fall colors coupled with a head-on view of Mt. Fairview’s sturdy lookout tower which lay directly across the valley. It was with some reluctance that we finally headed back to the car, vowing to return ere the first snow flew. With a flashlight!

Enjoying the hike and the warmth of the early October sun were Bob Devine and Wilbur Groner, both sharing the designation of Scouters scouting.


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