Big Lake-McKenzie Pass

July 24, 1988

Sunday, July 24, 1988 was a 90 degree day in Eugene. Clear skies enhanced our spirits as we set out to hike the 12.4 miles of Pacific Crest Trail between Big Lake and McKenzie Pass. We drove four cars to McKenzie Bridge. There we traded cars. Leader Don Sullivan drove co-leader Audrey Cummings’ car to McKenzie Pass where Don, Janet Leavitt, Ralph Nafziger, Keith and Robert Packard, and Kathy Perkin hiked north to Road 811 at Big Lake. At the same time, co-leader Audrey Cummings drove leader Don Sullivan’s car to Big Lake. There Audrey, Linda Eaton, Rick and Sally Grosscup and Gene Thaxton hiked from Road 811 south to McKenzie Pass. Little Valerie Grosscup also was along for the ride on her father’s back. Both the northbound and the southbound groups began hiking at 10:45 a.m. Our two groups met at 1:45 p.m. on the northwest slope of Mt. Washington. There we had lunch together and returned keys. It was decided at lunch that since we would not have to trade cars again, and since the two groups might be hiking at different speeds, we would not make any extreme effort to meet at the end of the hike. As it was, Audrey’s group made it to Mom’s Pies before 6 p.m. and left by 6:20, while Don’s group did not sake it to Mom’s until after 6:30 p.m. Audrey’s group hiked fast enough to widen this gap despite more elevation gain, carrying Valerie, and taking a side hike to the top of Little Belknap Crater. The trail was in good condition. There was still some snow on the trail on the North side of Belknap Crater. Wildflowers were out, and the northbound group found a huge toad along the trail. Thanks to the Grosscups and to Kathy Perkin for also driving and trading cars to make this hike possible. Those participating in the hike and trade were Linda Eaton, Rick, Sally and Valerie Grosscup, Janet Leavitt, Ralph Nafziger, Keith and Robert Packard, Kathleen Perkin, Gene Thaxton with co-leader Audrey Cummings and leader Don Sullivan.

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