Olallie Mountain

July 27, 1985

Eleven botanical types gathered at 8 am, one reporting in sick at that time and too late to rouse one of those on the waiting list (Wilderness Hike limited to 12). We started out from the trailhead ca. 10:30. Progress was very slow at first since we were attempting to tally all plants seen. The pace picked up once the general forest plants were noted and discussed. We would halt whenever we met with a new habitat and new plants. The seepy areas at Wolverine Meadow and just beyond were particularly lush with interesting flowers.

Lunch was taken at the saddle where the Olallie Mtn. trail takes off from the Olallie Trail. None too soon, as everybody was ravenous. Again, we walked slowly, or rather with frequent stops, as many new plants were recognized and enjoyed in the openings below the ridge. The ghost trees (dead from unknown causes) around the openings give this area a particularly enchanting aura. The last few hundred yards below the lookout proved somewhat disappointing, since the drought of this spring and summer had dried out the fringe-cups and columbine which usually are at their peak this time of year. In fact, the fringe-cup was a complete failure to set seed this year. Even the stonecrop (Sedum), a drought-resistant succulent, had its flowers drying up without seed! There were still plenty of flowers to see and, of course, the view is stupendous. We could see from Mt. Hood to Thielsen. The return hike was much faster than the ascent, not just because it was downhill.

About 140 different plants were identified (about half in flower). The prize of the day would have to be the fringed pinesap (Pleuricospora fimbriolata) found just beside the trail past Wolverine Meadow. It is a rare parasitic member of the heath family, a new addition to the Three Sisters Wilderness checklist.

After a stop at Mom’s for pies, snacks, coffee and a review of the list, all were home by 6 p.m. Participants (4 Obsidians, 7 nonmembers) were Joan Bray, Gary Chinn, Tom Ellis, Alice Evans, Freda Miller, Ann Moore, Jeri Rexford, Hans Tscnersicn, Paula Vehrs, and Jenny and David Wagner, leader.

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