Black Crater

August 4, 1984

Ten congenial hikers traveled from Eugene to the McKenzie Pass and the Black Crater trailhead on a sunny but hazy Saturday morning. For two transplanted Chicagoans, this was their first trip over the pass and its amazing lava fields. Hiking up the steadily ascending trail at an easy pace, our enjoyment was marred only by the ear-splitting whistles and shouts of four “birders” (!?) to their large dog who had his own agenda.

For whatever reason, the haze thickened as the day progressed, and when we reached the summit, instead of commanding the view with their overwhelming presence, the Sisters emerged surrounded by a gentle ethereal mist. Only Washington was visible to the north. Unsatisfactory for picture taking and lacking the excitement the crater top generates on a clear day. (Is L.A. shipping its unwanted smog north through a tunnel, releasing it through Mt. St. Helens, and then blowing it South?)

Nevertheless, we perched on the rocky summit, enjoyed a late lunch and a refreshing breeze, and then headed back down the trail to our cars. No Olympic records set, but a pleasant hike and good company shared by all. Black Crater hikers were Mike Denny, Ethel Weltman, Jennifer Fauley, Jody Johnson, Marge Kocher, Judith Engle, Audrey and Mac Howell, Miki Hutchison, and leader Karen Seidel.


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