October 21, 1989
The threat of foul weather trimmed a two-car sign-up list to one carload by departure time and
we sallied forth under a questionable sky.
By the time we passed through the tunnel east of Mapleton, we knew we were in for trouble, and the
deluge began before we reached Florence.
At the trailhead we sat in the car awhile waiting for the rain to abate enough to get into our packs
and ponchos without getting soaked in the process.
We hadn’t gone a quarter of a mile before the downpour resumed, forming ponds on even a sandy
Apparently we were too early for mushrooms, which normally are in abundance by this time of the fall.
Rough-skinned newts were out in force, however, as well as bull frogs.
By conservative estimate we saw three dozen of the former and half that many of the latter.
Two of the party turned back before reaching our Threemile Lake objective, fearing, I suppose, they
would otherwise dissolve.
So, there was no inclination to tack on the segment that leads to the big sand dune northwest of the
trailhead, when we got back to the fork in the trail.
Homeward bound, we stopped at the Alpha Bits Cafe in Mapleton to wars our flagging spirits with some
Much to our dismay, the power had gone off about fifteen minutes before our arrival and the soup
had to be heated on a wood stove.
“Enjoying” this outdoor experience were: Genie Currier, Miki Hutchison, Alys Riley,
Robin Prentice and leader, Vernon Barkhurst.