Olallie Lookout & Guard Station

July 16, 1989

Sunday morning, 3:45 a.m! Oh no, how can that be?!, the unmistakable patter of rain! My Olallie hike had been fogged out before (at which point future trip descriptions were revised to say “great view, weather permitting”), but rained upon, never! Restlessly I headed back to bed to await dawn and perhaps improved conditions. The first call came at 7:25. “I’m sorry to be phoning so late but I wanted to let you know I’m not able to go on the hike,” hastily added “but it is not because of the rain [sure!]! I have to go to Portland today,” etc., etc. Next a veteran Obsidian called to apologize that s/he was unable to go on the hike, “not because of the rain! but because of an injury …” (In all sincerity, I much appreciated the calls as I remember the time not many years back when without warning five people didn’t show thus depriving several on a waiting list for this hike.) Six brave hikers assembled in the S.E.H.S. parking lot by 8:00 a.m. and we were on our way. Needless to say, a persistent “mist” accompanied us throughout the hike but all seemed to take it in stride enjoying the outing and the flowers which, unlike the view, did not let us down. The clearcuts along F.S. Road 1993 were awash with the bright white pluses of beargrass — a spectacular show both there and along the Guard Station and Olallie Lookout Trails. Patches of Cornus canadensis with their bright white four petal-like bracts positively illuminated the trail, and perhaps most charming of all were the vanilla-leaf plants with their three fan shaped horizontal leaves catching the light misty rain in droplets of water that looked like thousands of silvery mercury beads. In the meadow with the spring where lupine abounds, their leaves too served as delicate catchment basins for sparkling droplets of rain. Lunch was lingered over in the shelter of the dry, if teeming (with six damp to downright wet hikers!), space of the lookout. After lunching and signing the visitor’s book and apparently in no rush to conclude the day, all elected to take the side jaunt to the Guard Station. Those enjoying the day and the vagaries of Oregon hiking weather were Hal Busby, Bob Foster, Hans Schock, Birgitte Williams, Shari Wulf and Lin Pierce (leader).

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