Jefferson Wilderness

July 16-17, 1988

The weather was clear as we began our hike north on the Crest Trail from Santiam Pass. We soon walked beyond the limits of the day hikers and found ourselves alternating between snow fields and rocky trails, with Three Fingered Jack towering above us. Somewhat north of the mountain, we reentered the woods and mosquito country. Those pesky beasts induced us to by-pass the first possible campsite (Catlin Lakes) and to continue on to Vasco Lake. It turned out to be well worth the mile more of walking — a beautiful lakeside spot, complete with jumping fish and evening grosbeaks. A pleasant night eased us into the neat morning, the routine of packing up gear and the beginning of the return trip. We hiked south on the old “Summit Trail” past Jack Lake, through piney-selling woods and a few ponderosa pines. Booth Lake was a shady and cool stop with enough mosquitoes to get us moving again soon. The next visual treat was a field of asters and buttercups, followed soon by the tactile treat of a swim in Square Lake. As usual, the last two miles were the longest. Enjoying a perfect summer backpack were Susan Baker, Barb Elsen and leader Mary Fulton.


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