Obsidian Loop

August 13, 1983

For those who did not join us because (1) newspaper reported four to six feet of snow over the whole area a week ago, (2) lower-down trips sounded more interesting, (3) other reasons, do not read this report, it could make you feel ill.

We left Eugene at 6:00 a.m., were on the trail shortly after 8:00 a.m. Due to small size of the party, we travelled slowly, taking photographs and talking to many of the over 100 hikers we met along the way. One party of four had, been hiking for 16 days, said snow had covered everything when they started. Weather for us was a bit hot, visibility excellent (all the way to Mt. Hood) and flowers beautiful. For once we saw the pasque flowers, in bloom, before they changed to white-headed old-men-of-the mountains. We located a dozen new sites for several of the Penstemons, which we now know bloom just after the snow leaves. Mosquitoes were frequent but not insistent. Snow? Yes, there was some. Patches up to 200 feet over the trail just above White Branch, at Camp Beverley and uptrail from Obsidian Camp, a bit at Obsidian Falls, and more in the obsidian beds (where a party was sunbathing and swimming in the lake), bigger patches edged the trail near Camp Scott and smaller, slushier ones going down Glacier Way below Sunshine. Hikers carrying skis were coming in as we left, may have found some higher slopes to use them on. Those last long three miles were helped by afternoon clouds which produced about as many raindrops as there had been hikers to settle the dust and cool us off. A good loop trip! Those making it were Paula Vehrs and leaders, Kenneth and Robin Lodewick.

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