E-PCT project made great strides in ’87

The Eugene-to-Pacific Crest Trail work crew concluded a very successful building season on Oct. 10. Buoyed by an encouraging midwinter meeting of the coordinating group, the crew set a goal of completing the Tire Mountain to Winberry Ridge gap. This was a from scratch portion, linking two historic trails to make them part of the continuous route. The terrain was not easy, and summer heat was a handicap. All this aside, a great effort was made on Sept. 12, and the goal was reached.

The concept of a continuous 74-mile hiking route from Eugene to a junction with the Pacific Crest Trail near Waldo Lake is large and exciting. At times over the past 8 years it has seemed a long way from being realized. Keeping at it is now paying off as we are achieving increasingly longer sections of the completed trail. A crew of 12 made the connecting link on Sept. 12. We benefitted from the disastrous 1987 fire season in that a stand-by crew of young loggers from the Lowell Ranger District were assigned to the project, too. The energy output of 20 year-old loggers is awesome!

The “keeping on” is done by folks, and the following are the reason for this year’s success: Bob & Sharon Andreason, Gayla Bandy, Larry and Jeff Cash, Leona Devine, Jack & Joella Ewing, Shirley Froyd, Jenny Schilz, Velma Shirk, Helen Smith, Jim Southmayd, Carol Stern and Jerold Williams.

The last act of this year was surveying the wile-and-a-half gap between the Deer Camp Trail, the E-PCT extension east of Big Bunchgrass Meadow. Planner Dave Linsdell of the Oakridge Ranger District helped us lay out the route, a particularly beautiful section, with striking views of Black Creek Canyon 2,000 feet below.

Lowell Ranger District Recreation Officer Jenny Schilz is working with the regional trails and road engineer this fall to survey a route up the south slope of Winberry Ridge near School Creek. The coordinating group of public agencies and trail builders will meet in midwinter to develop plans for 1988 and pat each other on the back for 1987.

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