August 12, 1987
It was a pleasant day and it was a pleasant way to spend a birthday — doing the Obsidian Loop.
On the way in, at White Branch Creek crossing, we met a large Sierra Club party, resting before the
last leg of their journey out.
They had been seven days in the wilderness.
For pack animals, they were using eight llamas.
The hikers, from all over the country, were indeed charming folks to chat with.
But they could not hold a candle to those exotic, doe-eyed llamas.
they were downright bewitching!
The frosting on the “birthday cake” was a side trip up to the vicinity of Arrowhead Lake.
Perched on the brink of a north facing cliff, we ate course II of our lunch while every major peak
between Washington and Hood lay within our sight.
(The first course, enjoyed below Obsidian Falls, provided the energy needed to make the two steep
climbs that lay ahead.)
The Obsidian Loop is rather long, and it does involve considerable elevation gain.
Therefore, “strenuous” and “for hikers with good stamina” prominently
displayed on the sign-up sheet did seem like an appropriate caveat to screen out those who might
find this hike over-taxing.
The good news: Nobody was overtaxed.
The obverse side of the coin: Low turnout.
Enjoying a meaningful experience (provided by the grandeur of our surroundings) were birthday
celebrant and fellow Leo, Carol Stern, and leader Bob Devine.