Tait’s Trail/Rosary Lake Loop

February 18, 1984

On Saturday morning the rather spiffily clad downhill skiers at Willamette Pass were joined by our group of 12, all of us standing in line for the lift to Eagle’s Peak. Crosscountry skiers tend to wear a grab bag assortment of clothing, and this coupled with our bulging packs put on backwards (perhaps looking as if we didn’t know our derriere’s from a hot potato) was cause enough for a scattering of bemused smiles from the bibbed folk.

Maybe we didn’t shine in the snitzy looks department, but you should have seen us go in the downhill mode after the chair lift had dropped us off on the crest of Eagle’s Peak. Well, maybe we didn’t exactly shine in this department either—but we sure did cope. In truth, things got better and better as the day wore on and we got properly warmed up. Tait’s Trail, which runs around the perimeter of a reasonably level plateau provided us with some nondemanding skiing in a winter wonderland setting. The tree limbs were laden with freshly fallen snow that pleased the eye, and the pall of silence broken only by the swish of our skis was a pleasant relief from the usual noise pollution that we have all come to accept as normal.

Lunch was taken on a high bluff overlooking Upper Rosary Lake, and by 1 p.m. all felt ready to face the rather difficult descent to the lake area. Headed downward, most everyone had problems with excessive speed at times, occasionally followed by ignominious tumbles and spectacular head plants. But this was accepted good naturedly by all (who fell) as part of the fun.

Ted, one of the more talented skiers in our gang of 12, had purposely handicapped himself with 40 lbs of photo and survival gear. I guess that it paid off since Ted did indeed survive to ski another day. And I’m sure that his photos were of professional quality. Good old Dave took the lead for most of the trip, permitting the leader to bring up the rear. In theory this ploy eliminates all chance of the leader arriving at the bottom of mountain to discover (after laboriously herring boning it back to the top) that a missing skier is inextricably inverted in a tree well. Of such scenarios are leader’s nightmares made.

But not to worry this time. Everyone closed the loop with aplomb, and by 4 p.m. all were headed back to Eugene. Those skiing the ten-mile loop were Doris Allen, Dick Barrar, Ted Chuman, Leona Devine, Bea Fontana, Jane Hackett, Bev MacDonald, Dave Predeek, Marie Street, Gene Thaxton, Ken Zimmerman, and leader Bob Devine.

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