Mary’s Peak

May 29, 1985

This Wednesday hike was cold, overcast, windy and rainy. We had nice warm weather through Monday, and we had a nice day most of Thursday, but I seem to choose the one day in the week that is nasty—has happened on all my trips I have lead this year.

Gladys Grancorvitz, Mary Jane Lea and myself, Lois Schreiner, left Eugene shortly after 8 a.m. driving to Philomath on the usual route (Highway 99W and Highway. 20) then continuing toward Newport for about a mile and half where we turned left onto Wood Creek Rd. and followed that road for 7 and a half miles to the locked gate at the beginning of the 3.5 mile trail to the peak. We encountered several small downed trees and lots of branches on the first section of trail, but trail tread was soft and comfortable on the many switchbacks up the mountain. The sun did try to peak from behind the clouds occasionally, but as we neared the parking lot on top the fog visited us from time to time.

We saw many wild flowers all along the trail, some of which were anemone, nearly gone trillium, miner’s lettuce, sheep sorrel, one calypso, vanilla leaf, yellow violets, spring queen, queen’s cup in bud, and several patches of avalanche lillies as we approached the parking lot. A few patches of snow greeted us, and the wind was cold as we emerged from the protection of the forest. The view of the valley could have been a lot better (however, my first view of the valley from there as the other two times it was blizzard and white out on top). We rushed to the facilities, then found the leeward side of the building to eat our lunch. We opted not to continue to the top of the mountain as the wind was getting stronger, it had started to rain, and our hands were cold even in our gloves. Although we had been trudging up the hill for nearly three hours, we stayed only long enough to eat, then dashed downward to the protection of the trees and back to the car in less than two hours. (Seemed the trek up and back took longer than I remember other years,)

Although rain only bothered us for a few minutes near the summit, we kept moving right along to keep warm. We were happy to get off our feet and enjoy the trip home by a different route. From Philomath we went south to Alpine, then east to Monroe where we took Territorial Road south to Cheshire, jogged West aways and south through Franklin. Shortly after passing that hamlet we turned left on a little country road and arrived at the west end of Fern Ridge Dam where we turned left again and worked our way back to Eugene, dropping Gladys off on the way.

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