Waldo Mountain

August 31, 1985

Six eager hikers left Eugene at 7:40 a.m. in search of Waldo Mountain. None of us had ever been there before, so it was like “the blind leading the blind.” (We spent about 20 minutes in Oakridge waiting for a couple who showed up on time, but opted not to go with us.) We crossed the RR tracks to the upper level of Oakridge and drove east on Salmon Creek Rd for 10.5 miles to the junction of Rd 2417, then followed that road for 6 miles to Rd 2424 which we took for 3.5 miles to the Salmon Creek trailhead. We started hiking at 9:45 a.m. on the Waldo Mountain Trail (#3592) which climbs steeply for the first 10 to 15 minutes, then levels out a bit for about 5 minutes. From there on it is a pleasant ascent to the junction with the Waldo Meadows Trail (#3591), a distance of 2 miles according to the sign, but 3 miles according to the map. I’m inclined to believe that it is two miles because of the time it took to get there. From there on to the top of the mountain, a distance of a mile to a mile and a half (signs and map don’t agree), is also a reasonably inclined grade. The leader was the last to arrive at 11:45 a.m. as she was left in the dust by the “Other Five” as she trudged up the trail alone.

We were there on a lovely sunny, warm day with Waldo Lake spread out before us and many lesser lakes dotting the area—Eddeeleo Lakes and Salmon Lakes, to name a few—and all beautiful. The mountains from Diamond Peak to Mt. Jefferson were out in all their magnificent glory, and the lower peaks were showing off in their splendor too. If we looked real hard we could even make out Mt. Hood. Some of the nearby points of interest were Fuji, Maiden Peak, the Twins, Irish Mountain, The Husband—I could go on and on. The lookout attendant was no where to be seen, however he or she had been there the day before and was expected to be back. We tried very hard to read a note that had been left rear the window, but upside down reading is not always easy—had a terrible time trying to decipher the last word, and I guess we will never know how the message ended. We left the lookout at 1 p.m. returning to the Waldo Meadows Trail junction and took that trail down to Upper Salmon Lake, about a mile of good downhill hiking and half a mile through meadow and timber. We spent 20 minutes there enjoying the pristine stillness, the view of Waldo Mountain, and a few wildflowers—spirea, pearly everlasting, paint brush—then had to drag ourselves away to continue our outing. One bad mark by this lovely little lake—someone had left several large plastic tarps, an empty water jug, a broken fishing pole, a mangled lawn chair, and a pair of jogging pants by a burned out campfire. We were not equipped to drag the stuff out. We retraced our steps (about ten minutes) to the Salmon Lakes Trail (#3585) and hiked the two miles back to the car by this lower trail that undulated along the contour of the mountain. During the return from the top of the mountain the “Other Five” became “The Six” as the leader could keep up on the down hill trek. Actually, this trip really didn’t need a leader—there were so few of us; Anne was out front most of the time; Gary took the lead part of the time.

We succeeded in having a wonderful time with a lately assigned leader—only two days notice (original leader had an injured foot), a good navigator for the road tour and the trail in Anne, and a congenial group who enjoyed the whole day together arriving at the car by 3:35 p.m., and back in Eugene by, 5:30 p.m. Waldo Mountaineers were Gary Marx, Mary Millman, Anne Montgomery, Virginia Prouty, Ardys Ringsdorf and Lois Schreiner, leader.

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