Alder Springs

April 30, 1989

“A little-known hike to an enchanted garden where beautiful Squaw Creek meets the Deschutes River. Towering rim-rock canyon cliffs 10 to 16 million years old, ponderosa pine and alder thickets await the adventurer into this breathtaking area …” Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? The only problem was a storm came in a few days before the hike, leaving a deep pool of water over the road accessing the trailhead. Nothing to do but park our cars and hike from the road. This made about an 11-mile hike out of what would have been an easy five miles. Great views of the high Cascades, Smith Rock and Mt. Jefferson, meadowlarks, red-tailed hawks, sand lilies and prairie starflowers rewarded us for our efforts. A band of sheep including many spring labs trotted along the road ahead of us. Only in Central Oregon would you be likely to see this spectacle. After a pleasant lunch stop under some juniper trees we followed the road down to Squaw Creek. A peculiar feeling haunted me. Like Alice in Wonderland, I had walked through the looking glass. The creek looked the same, yet different. The canyon looked right, but was wrong. The road even had the same turns, but it was not the same. Squaw Creek was, indeed, beautiful, as were the high cliffs, deep canyons and ponderosa. The explanation for my looking glass feeling was we didn’t really get to Alder Springs! I realized later that after our lunch stop, I had walked past the road I usually drive on before parking and starting down the road for the trailhead. My humble apologies to the group for taking them on this misadventure. Everyone was a good sport but we were all pretty tired when we got back to our cars. I even got a couple of thank-you notes and was asked to lead another hike! It was great to see some of my Eugene friends as well as meet Obsidians who were new to me. Hikers were: Carrie McClish, Tonny Wilson, Robin Prentice, Jeanie and Kristina Holmes, Bob Abbosch, Bob Foster, Norms Jones, Teresa Ladd, Rachele Noto Fiszman, Susan Stewart, Elaine Yost, Linda Lumsden, Susan Roc, Suzanne and Ethel Steussy, Vic Nooander, and (“Alice in Wonderland”) Marge Bartle (leader).

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