PCNST, Willamette Pass-McKenzie Pass

August 17-25, 1991

Aug. 17 – Willamette Pass to Bobby Lake. 8.5 miles past Rosary Lakes in the sunshine. At 3:30 pm thunderstorms started. Rain, hail, lightning and thunder. Spectacular weather! Prepared dinner in the rain. Rain finally stopped about 9:00.

Sun. Aug. 18 – Bobby Lake to Charlton Lake. 8 miles. Didn’t leave camp until 10:15 a.m. Needed time to dry everything. Hiked mostly through the trees, but had one tremendous view of Waldo Lake just off the trail from a high bluff. Charlton Lake by 3:30. Lots of time to finish drying tent. Watched another large thunderstorm 20 miles to the east, but no rain on us.

Mon. Aug. 19 – Charlton Lake to Stormy Lake. 11.2 miles today. Lunch at Irish Lake was nice, but Terminator II mosquitoes in the Brahma Lake area drove us past there in a hurry. Discovered blisters on feet after the fast mosquito-induced pace. At least no thunderstorms today. Forty-eight pound pack is noticeable on the uphills!

Tues. Aug. 20 – Stormy Lake to Cliff Lake. 8.2 miles. A lot of mosquitoes in the morning. Carried hemlock branch switches to keep them at bay. About noon we noticed that we had traded mosquitoes for horseflies. Think the horseflies were easier to handle. Are we having fun yet?

Wed. Aug. 21 – Cliff Lake to Elk Lake Resort. 9 miles to the biggest and best milkshake in Oregon! Missed meeting my brother Bob Moffitt by 2½ hours. He was on an across-Oregon bicycle tour. Steak dinner at the resort was a treat after four days of freeze-dried dinners. Dusty.

Thurs. Aug. 22 – Elk Lake to Denude Lake. 6.4 miles to the Sisters Mirror Lake area. Many people at Sisters Mirror Lake, so we chose another “mirror lake” to camp at. Climbed 6520' Koosah Mountain on the way. The Crest Trail goes almost to its summit anyway. Very good view of Mt. Bachelor and Broken Top.

Fri. Aug. 23 – Denude Lake to Obsidian Creek. 13.4 miles to reach a sure source of water. Saw ten elk in Wickiup Plain. The bull elk stopped and turned to look at us just before he entered the thicket. Multiple views of the South Sister. Higher and dryer altitudes finally stopped the mosquitoes and we threw down our switches.

Sat. Aug. 24 – Obsidian Creek to North Matthieu Lake. 9.1 miles. Saw many people today. Backpackers, day hikers, joggers and horsemen. People with dog. Dog even had his own panniers. Lunch at Minnie Scott Springs. We by-passed South Matthieu Lake because of very strong winds. Weather was cooling. Fall in the air. Only 38°F that night.

Sun. Aug. 25 – North Matthieu Lake to McKenzie Pass. 3.5 miles to the Dee Wright Memorial Observatory and our assigned pick-up vehicle. Many tourists milling around. They were taking the opportunity of the weekend to get there. The road has been closed for several weeks for construction on workdays.

Members on this backpack trip were Rebecca Hansen and Dick Moffitt, leader.


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