Oppie Dildock Pass

August 3, 1996

At the end of a hot week in Eugene, Saturday dawned with overcast skies and a prediction of maybe showers and much lower temperatures for Eugene. In the parking lot several wondered what to wear to keep warm! We arrived at Obsidian Trailhead about 9:30. Much to the leader’s surprise, a Forest Service person at the trailhead bulletin board asked us where we were going. When he heard the answer he asked if we had a permit, as the last part of the trip would take us through the “limited use” area of the Three Sisters Wilderness. The leader did not have a “limited use” permit and was not about to go back to the McKenzie Ranger Station to get one! After a huddle over a map, we decided to proceed with the hike to our destination, which was outside of the “limited use” area. Rather than making a loop trip, we would return the way we went in. The temperature was on the cool side, which made for good hiking. The site of the first viewpoint came and there was no view … the Sisters were shrouded in clouds. To compensate, we were coming upon more and more blue lupine on the trail. When we arrived at the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail there was a meadow full of lupine. As we walked through the meadow we discovered red Indian Paintbrush and a few yellow flowers also mixed in. While in the meadow the clouds covering North Sister parted, giving us a glimpse of the peak which looked as if it had been freshly snowed upon! The parting of the clouds also allowed the sun to light up the meadow. The day was looking better and continued to get better. By one o’clock we were on the promontory near the pass. We stopped to have lunch and look north up the Cascade range, watching Mt. Jefferson become visible and then disappear again into the clouds. At the pass, visibility varied, with good views most of the time. Having reached our destination one group who didn’t want to go to the Collier Glacier overlook, headed back to their car. The remainder not only went to the overlook, but on up onto Collier Cone to gaze into Eastern Oregon. They all agreed it was a very worthwhile side trip. We left the pass at 2:30 and were back to our cars by 5:30. Hikers were Robert Baron, Max Brown, Ilan Egoz, Gloria Gunderson, Linda Gunn, Gary Marx, John Pilafian, Rich Romm, Ivan Vandeberg, Craig Weinerman ands Richard Heinzkill (trip leader).

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