McKenzie River Trail

May 18, 1983

The first Obsidian hike of the entire marathon length McKenzie River Trail had 11 participants. We were on the trail at 8:30 a.m. at Fish Lake and set a very brisk pace on a day made for rapid walking, cool, and no rain. We soon passed by the shore of Clear Lake and crossed the highway to take a few too brief moments to admire Sahalie and Koosah Falls and the wild water through the canyon. Then on to Carmen Diversion Dam where we met Pete Cecil at our first safety check. Thereafter, Pete met us (by car) at each road crossing to make sure all was well with the hikers, an invaluable service to us all.

We had a brief lunch stop at Tamolitch Falls Blue Pool, beautiful as always. Sorry Gene, no 45-minute lunch this day. At Trail Bridge, the halfway point, some people dipped overheated feet into the cold spring water. Then off again at a still blistering (literally) pace. At Deer Creek another foot cooling and eating stop beside that beautiful long high foot bridge. At Buck Bridge there are only 6.7 miles to go, the longest stretch of the whole trip. Feet were getting sore and the general feeling was to just get done. Only one person was smart enough to say “enough of this” and rode the last stretch. The rest of us had to finish what we set out to do. The end of the trail was a welcome sight!! Nine hours of fast walking took its toll. These who lay on the gravel parking area thought they might never rise again. And the following day we all had great compassion for the infirm.

Those involved in the First Annual Blister Hike were Melinda Allen, John and Pete Cecil, Margaret Crosland, Bob Foster, Ed Lovegren, Una Munson, Gene Thaxton, Suzanne Steussy, Mike Wright and leader Betty Legris. Thanks again, Pete! Your help allowed me to enjoy the hike too, and reassured anyone who had doubts about trying.

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