Spencer Butte/Ridgeline Loop
February 18, 1984
This was a “have your cake and eat it too” kind of a hike—everyone could sleep in this Saturday morning (the cake), yet enjoy a challenging hike (the eating thereof) on a beautiful winter day in mid-February. We didn’t leave SEHS until after 10:30 a.m., and were at our first objective (summit of Spencer Butte) by 11:30 a.m. We had huffed and puffed our way up the steep west trail, and topped out in a nice breeze and sunshine. After identifying peaks in the Coast Range and the old Western Cascades (the high mountains were obscured in clouds), landmarks nearby, buildings and streets in Eugene and dormant poison oak at hand, we gathered in the rocks at the north end for a leisurely lunch and conversation.
At 1200 p.m. we began our descent on the very steep and little used north trail to intersect the new Ridgeline Trail. We proceeded east on that trail until we came to the new trail up the east side of the Butte. We had left the Butte’s top fifty minutes before, and now were taking the new trail toward the top again. However, we did not summit this time as we intersected the older, easier trail where it turns north along the east side of the Butte. After a short breathing, watering, and snacking stop at this junction, we proceeded west on the south traverse back to the parking lot. By now it was about 2:30 p.m., so everyone had a chance to get home early.
I did not spot any wildflowers blooming this trip, but perhaps didn’t look closely enough. The trail was quite muddy in spots from the deluge we had experienced during the week. The steep north trail, however, was just damp enough to be soft underfoot but not slippery so was not the ‘bearcat’ I had expected.
All 16 of us had a wonderful time on this mid-day trek up our built-in city mountain including Betty Allison, Ewart and Margaret Baldwin, Amy Clugston, Bradley Helms, Karen Houglum, Jody Johnson, Sandra Mayhew (from England), Betty Metzler, Virginia Prouty, Marlane Ring, Fred Schepman, Ethel and Robin Steussy, Jane Tucker, and leader Lois Schreiner.