Clear Lake Loop

June 3, 1989

Starting a Clear Lake loop trip from Sahalie Falls had some good points, but it included a minor drawback as well. After viewing, hearing and even feeling the thunderous roar of the falls, would the rest of the day seem like an anticlimax? Fortunately the hike around Clear Lake is, in its own special way, equally satisfying. Beauty coupled with tranquility does have its own merits. Hiking the loop counterclockwise brought us to the osprey’s nest about 11 a.m. We paused here for a snack, waiting for “mom” to return. When she did reappear, a lone unfledged chick popped her head up with bill agape. But it was tough luck for the kid — her ma was empty handed. Continuing our trek, we admired a group of snow covered mountains to the northwest, one of which was Crescent Peak. At the northernmost point of our hike we came upon Fish Lake Creek which was gushing great volumes of water into Clear Lake. Thereupon, Genie and Mary challenged the Forest Service which defines Clear Lake as the source of the McKenzie River. With heads together they decided that, technically, the snow fields that feed Fish Lake Creek are the true source of the McKenzie River. With that point settled, we pushed on to the vicinity of the lodge where we ate lunch close to the rippling waters of the lake. Later as we headed back toward Sahalie Falls, we were passed by a team of ten mountain bikers who obviously considered themselves to be “bike-hikers” since the trail was clearly posted — HIKERS ONLY. First back to the parking lot was Birgitte, a super bundle of energy even though she had had but 3 hours of sleep the previous night. An RN, pulling the night shift at Sacred Heart before bicycling home in the black of night to catch a few winks did not dampen her enthusiasm for this 8-mile hike. Enjoying the variety of scenes on a lovely day in spring were: Genie Currier, Mary Millman, Birgitte Williams and Bob Devine (leader).

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