Alpine Ridge

May 10, 1987

We first had to drive up Fall Creek to leave a shuttle vehicle at N. Gold Point trailhead. What began as a 15-mile hike ended up as a 22-mile endurance trip! With great anticipation, we began at 10:30 from Alpine trailhead on Rd. 1912 above Oakridge. It was a nice, sunny day — hot, no rain in sight. All the snow was gone and the trail at this point is well marked. Flowers of all types were beginning to come forward. Sourgrass had a few spots of snow. There was some haze in the sky, so not good for taking pictures. We were at Saddleblanket Lookout by 12:30 and had lunch. By now there was a little less haze, so took pictures of Diamond Peak, Three Sisters, etc. We could see our destination ahead: “Sinker Mountain. Oh! How faraway it is! Can we make it?” was the question. To the north we can see smoke from the Weyerhaeuser fire. On the trail again, we headed for Elk Camp Shelter. Still a good trail to follow. Now clear-cut to cross; the trail was still with us marked with pink ribbons. But soon we were on our own: no trail, no ribbons! We decided to take Rd. 1912, east side of the ridge. Ahead we sighted Sinker Mnt. The point of “no return...!” We saw no trail for about the next 10 miles! Reaching Sinker Mnt. at 5:00 we crossed the ridge, took a compass reading for Gold Point and headed down Road 1835. Reached the S. Gold Point trailhead at 6:30 — it was good to see a trail again! We found a good source of water (which we needed!!), and arrived at the N. Gold Point trailhead at 8:00 p.m. All in all, it was a very good hike, a trip that all of us — all Obsidians — will not forget. I look forward to leading this trip again in the future. The Forest Service is planning to rebuild/relocate some of the trail up Sourgrass this summer. In the immediate future, all the old growth will be gone from the Alpine and Sinker ridges. There are no plans for now to reconstruct this trail. On Alpine Ridge were Tom Cawi, Jerry Crosby, Bob Foster, Diana Tvorik, and Rebecca Hansen (leader).

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