Kentucky/North Fork Falls

March 24, 1991

Braving SNOW on the road at the Roman Nose ridge, co-leader Susan Baker led three cars from Eugene, with aid of the leader’s maps, mileages, and printed directions, to join leader John (“Jack”) Engstrom at the trailhead at 1:45 a.m. Weather was UNEXPECTEDLY SUNNY much of the day — the first break from stormy weather in a week! The ten of us hit the trail at 11 a.m. The trail was cold, as usual, but surprisingly dry. After a few minutes (Upper) Kentucky Falls was before us — picture-perfect. Descending considerably, we came to the end* of the two-mile trail, where we had lunch in view of both the North Fork (Smith River) Falls and the Lower Kentucky Creek Falls, each impressive. We got back to the cars at 1 p.m. Paul and Alexis Harrison and Tilden Keller returned to Eugene, while the remaining seven of us spent two hours around Mt. Baldy and Roman Nose. Looking due west (probably 20 miles) from the Baldy Mountain viewpoint, we were astonished and delighted to see, and confirm with binoculars, the SURF at the ocean beyond the Dunes below Florence! We climbed to what is apparently Mt. Baldy’s peak, bushwhacking it at the end to an anticlimactic non-view. Then on to Roman Nose, covered with a foot of snow, which made it too dangerous to scramble through the rock scree to the top. But the sunshine broke through, becoming gloriously bright, so we contented ourselves with basking in it and enjoying the view. At 2:55 p.m. J.E., S.B., Hilma Volk, Marty Hathaway, Corinne Hunt, Sue Wolling and Larry Cotter disbanded at Roman Nose.

* — A 10-mile trail extension following the North Fork Smith River is being planned by the Mapleton Ranger District, who are seeking volunteers.


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