Tahkenitch Trail to 3-mile Lake
April 12, 1986
The April 12th trip to the Tahkenitch Trail was one of sunshine and showers, and the return trip proved to be the same, however all the while we were hiking the trail to and from Threemile Lake we were spared precipitation and had quite a bit of sunshine. Occasionally we would come to an open spot among the trees and the wind was cold and strong, but the hike was a very pleasant one as we walked over the undulating terrain of the very old sand dunes covered with small plants, shrubs and giant trees.
We began our trek at 10 a.m. and progressed along the trail passing above Elbow Lake to the left, viewing a profusion of salal in bloom, many lovely pink rhododenrons, ocean spray, and a salamander population explosion. The trail was damp from the recent rains and the salamanders were plodding along the trail—we had to be very careful not to step on any of them, and sometimes picking them up to move them from our path. We didn’t see very many wildflowers along the first part of the trail, but as we moved westward quite a few came into view. There was lots of candy flower (sometimes called Siberian lettuce), some fairy lanterns, yellow violets, and monkey flower to name a few. One area in a deep ravine was covered with the huge leaves of the skunk cabbage with some of them in bloom (the odor was not very apparent).
About half way to Threemile Lake we stopped to view the ocean framed through the trees from our high perch above Butterfly Lake on the right. Shortly after this viewpoint we began our long descent serpentining around ferned gullies, through evergreen forest and switchbacking down to an arm of the lake. Shortly after crossing the log bridge we hiked up a short distance to the end of the trail overlooking sand dunes, deflation plane and the mighty Pacific, just slightly over an hour and a half (my pace with numerous stops to enjoy the scenery) since leaving the car. We crossed the grass covered ridge of the dunes above the lake until we found a suitable spot among the reeds to bask in the sun as we ate our lunch and enjoyed the site of the very full lake. After an hour of this exposure we retraced our steps, arriving at the trail head about 2:45 p.m.
At this early hour we decided to take a longer way home, so drove to Reedsport returning to Eugene via the Umpqua passing through Scotsburg, Elkton, Drain, then bypassing Cottage Grove, Creswell, etc. on I-5, arriving in Eugene at 4:30 p.m. Enjoying all this were nonmembers Ann Dunn, Loretta Mason, and William Englehart with Obsidians Fred Schepman, Miki Hutchison and leader Lois Schreiner.