Olallie Lookout

July 22, 1984

It was with a sigh of relief that the leader arose to almost clear skies and decided it was to be sunny after all! (Anyone on last year’s fog enshrouded hike to Olallie Lookout knows what I mean!)

After waiting a generous 10 minutes past departure time for any latecomers, we left in two cars for the drive up the McKenzie. We turned off at Cougar Reservoir, crossed the dam and drove up Road 1993. On schedule, we pulled into the parking area for the Olallie Trail and set about putting on our boots, when suddenly we saw the second car driving merrily on down the road! A hastily arranged pursuit netted the other car, stopped in a meadow enjoying a sneak preview of the scenery! Driver perplexed that the cloud of dust he’d been following had mysteriously vanished, yet, knowing that a trailhead is something easily identified by parked cars! (We’d forgotten how secluded the parking area is to the uninitiated! And, certainly we had already zoomed past several other trailheads.)

Weather—good—breezy with clear blue sky and an excellent view north to Mt Hood all the way down the Cascade Range south to Diamond Peak! Flowers seemed to be the piece de resistance for all with clear identification of the more common species and much mumbling, muttering and pouring over books to decipher the perpetual “unknowns.” In the running for grand prize would be the brilliant orange-red and yellow of the columbine on the west side approach to Olallie Mountain or the exquisite patches of cornus canadensis in the woods, at the base of bleached gray snags, or by streamside, etc., though the list of botanical delights would hardly be complete without mention of the open forest vista of beargrass in full flower, stretching in a north-south direction from the Guard Station-Olallie Mountain Trail junction! All elected to do the side trip to the meadow.

Richard Eden, in his third year of taking a week at the Guard Station in Helen Smith’s stead, offered us the hospitality of the stoop and plenty of fresh tap water! We even got the scoop on his plumbing expertise—a successful replacement of kitchen faucet.

The day was enjoyed by Audrey and Mac Howell, Dan Bates, Hat Busby, Barb Elsen, Bob Foster, Miki Hutchison, and leader Lin Pierce. (For those members whom I had to turn down because of the policy to limit the number of hikers in a wilderness area, and who are counting, my extreme regrets for the disappointment caused by the ill-mannered attitude of five hikers—nonmembers as far as I can tell—who neither bothered to call in advance nor appear on Sunday.)


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