French Pete

May 8, 1988

The weatherman (as usual) was a bit off on his prediction as there was considerably more precipitation than expected. We had showers off and on as we drove to the trailhead, but it was pleasantly rain free on the trail until about 12:15 when a light rain began falling on our lunch stop. However, after one o’clock the rain began in earnest so by the time we returned to the cars before three we were quite wet. Yes, we had rain gear with us so those who used their wet weather equipment kept nice and dry.

The side streams were running quite full so we had some difficulty crossing without getting our feet wet (and some of us experienced the latter). This was a hike where the leader found herself in nearly every position in the group. She started out at the beginning but ended up at the end by the time the hike was over. About half our party were non-Obsidians, and some on their very first hike with us and very new to the territory. They asked lots of questions and learned many things about our flora that was new to them.

We began our hike up this favorite trail a little after Len and the majority of the group reached the washed out log bridge shortly after noon. Since the Forest Service destroyed this unsafe crossing we can no longer hike beyond the three-mile distance. About half our group extended their trek a short ways farther by following an animal trail up the hillside to an overlook where they had a view of the creek and surrounding hillsides farther upstream; some of the crew walked back down the trail a short distance to find a good spot for lunch, while the leader and two friends found a lovely place along the creek’s shore near trail’s end.

As one gets cold on such a day if lingering very long without movement, the majority of the group started their return trip while the leader waited for the remaining couple to descend from the overlook. The three of us began our return at 1 p.m., a good fifteen minutes after all the others.

Although this turned out to be a disjointed group we all had a good time, even in the rain. We saw lovely calypso bulbosas, a blooming gooseberry bush, many wild flowering current, the usual spring queens, one example of fairy bell as well as a colts foot. Only a few trillium were still in bloom but way too early for rhodies. The creek itself was all white water as it bounded over boulders and rushed under fallen trees.

The one person who cancelled because of car trouble and the one no-show missed a wonderful experience. Our crew consisted of Jonathan Brandt, Teresa Brown, Francesca Cancian, Clair Cooley, Genie Currier, Bob Fulton, Miki Hutchison, Sara Jones, Whitey Lueck, Helen Lynch, Anne Montgomery, Don Orton, Kay Ullman, Sue Wolling, and leader Lois Schreiner.

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