Jefferson Park

August 25, 1991

Surprised that only a few people signed up for this spectacular hike, three personal friends and no fellow-Obsidians headed for the North Santiam Highway. I’m always amazed at seeing a parking lot full of cars, but happily not many people on the trail! Climbing steadily, we hiked through old growth fir surrounded by lush green vegetation. Our first glimpses of Jefferson about the 1½-mile mark inspired my fellow hikers who were having doubts about the distance. I joyfully strolled along marveling about the beauty of this trail, and what great luck to have such excellent weather, not a cloud around, perfect temperature. Less than a mile from the Park, we came upon a dainty meadow that was a kaleidoscope of red, yellow and blue wild flowers: paint brush, lupine and what looked like some species of subalpine buttercup. Into the Park, we headed for Scout Lake. Eating our lunch, we just couldn’t get over the tremendous beauty surrounding us, and Mount Jefferson’s omnipresence. I especially appreciated how all the backpackers kept their tents from obscuring the views. After a long nap at the lake, we explored the local area quickly and started our hike out. One of my companions was having hip-joint pain, which grew worse with every step. A walking stick helped, but she was truly miserable. I began hoping a horseback rider would appear to carry her out. A slow 2½ hours later, we were back. As I got to the end (or start) of the trail, I turned around and there was Mt. Jefferson in full view. Neither Sharon or Sharra Castle or Carolyn Kompanik (leader) saw this sight as we began our adventure.


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