Scott Mountain

November 2, 1985

Because of snow on the trail to Park Meadow (our original destination), we settled on Scott Mountain. Eight of us headed into the Cascades, hoping to get high enough to escape the “morning clouds” that hung over the valley. Not far from the trailhead, we encountered a herd of burly, dark-maned animals on the forest road; turned out to be a bunch of loggers setting up a high-lead tower. While waiting for them to secure the tower with six huge cables, we mused over the lovely views which such recent clear-cuts afford us … then finally reached the trailhead by mid-morning.

As the sun played games with the remaining clouds, we entered the lovely forest through which the trail approaches Scott Mountain from the west side. After crossing two small meadows, the trail enters a fairly young, open forest carpeted with beargrass. The morning clouds soon returned to keep us company the remainder of the day. Tanas Lake at the junction of the main Scott Mountain trail was covered with a sheet of slush, and several centimeters of snow covered the trial. Just before stopping for lunch, we came across HUGE elk tracks in the fresh snow. With mittened hands, we hurriedly stuffed our sanwiches into our mouths, fearing the enormous beast might return at any moment!

Cold-footed, but happy, we continued to the top of the mountain, where the leader pointed out all the major peaks of the Cascades. “Well…ummm…the Three Sisters would be over there…and Mt. Jefferson would be, oh…about there,” he explained, gesturing into the fog. After a short snowball fight, we headed back. Halfway down, the clouds finally dissipated, and a brilliant sun shone through the lichen-covered trees, warming us from our faces down to our feet. Back at the trailhead, the view down into the McKenzie Valley was exquisite as the sun set amid the clouds and the fog patches. After an enjoyable supper in Mckenzie Bridge, we returned to our green box with the gray lid, a.k.a. the Willamette Valley. The Happy Hikers were Peter Boag, Alice Peterson, Susan Roe, Barb Elsen, Gladys Grancorvitz, Carol Stern, Rachel Major, and leader Whitey Lueck.

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