Ridgeline Trail

November 28, 1987

Fourteen signees arrived at the SEHS parking lot before the appointed hour of 9 a.m. so off we went through the morning fog to the Blanton Rd entrance of the Ridgeline Trail. Beginning at 9:20 a.m. we climbed up through the meadow then into the forest high above hillside homes on Startouch and other meandering streets in the subdivisions just west of Willamette Street. Along this muddy route we saw small clearings that would have given us expansive views of Eugene and the mountains to the northeast, but not today which was socked in with fog. After going upward for some distance the trail leveled out and then descended below lovely homes on Solar Heights (not visible from the trail). After 1.6 miles and 50 minutes we arrived at the Willamette Street exit point.

For a few short feet we were on solid pavement, a respite from the mud, but entering the 52nd and Willamette entry point we once again plodded up through a muddy meadow before plunging into the trees. This was very much like the first leg of the hike — up and down, mud, fog, cold, and continued bicycle tracks, plus the barking of a disturbed dog. Again, viewpoints but no views. This stretch of trail to the branching trail leading to the top of Spencer Butte was traversed in 40 minutes for a distance of 1.2 miles. By now it was nearly 11 a.m. so decided to try for the top where we would have lunch. This is a fairly steep trail and has four sets of long stairs, which today were slippery with wet steps and leaves. Some of the fasties went on ahead while the leader lead from the rear. By 11:30 we had reached the trail junction with the south trail coming from Spencer Butte Parking Area on Willamette Street. At this point we realized that we would never get above the fog so decided to have lunch on a small mossy rock covered knoll, and to try for the summit another day. We had gone 7/10 of a mile from the Ridgeline Trail junction and it would be another mile to the top — we wouldn’t see anything but more fog and perhaps it was windy and colder up there.

After a rather quick lunch (sitting for very long became uncomfortably chilly) we started down the trail we had just climbed being careful not to slip on the wet wooden steps. Twenty minutes down to the junction then out to Fox Hollow Rd where we had stashed a car to shuttle the drivers back to Blanton Rd. Total distance to this point is 4.8 miles. Rather than have ten people stand around getting cold while they waited for the cars to pick them up, Shirley was asked to take the group onward to Dillard Road and return for their rides back to SEHS. The distance was greater than anticipated, but Shirley had presence of mind not to go the whole distance and returned her group to Fox Hollow Rd, arriving moments after the cars had come to pick them up. This gave the majority of hikers a five mile plus trip, therefore a qualifying hike. It was now a few minutes past 1 p.m. so we returned our hikers to SEHS. This gave everyone most of the afternoon to do something else on this foggy, cold day.

Ridgeliners were Collette Bevin Cenname, Bernie Claypool, Clair Cooley, Clara Emlen, Shirley Froyd, Gladys Grancorvitz, May Jackson, Ruth McCalop, Betty Metzler, Mary Millman, Ethel Steussy, Ruth and Frank Sumich, and leader Lois Schreiner.


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