Rigdon Lakes Loop

August 24, 1996

On an early Saturday morning with a trace of smoke in the air, 11 hikers set out for the Rigdon Lakes in the North Waldo Wilderness area. After a rest stop to view Salt Creek Falls we proceeded to the North Waldo Lake Campground, where we could see a plume of smoke to the north in the distance: We were met by a ranger in the parking lot who said that a large forest fire had been started by lightning Friday evening … and that it was out of control! They were in the process of evacuating the campground due to the fire and said the area was closed for hiking. As no one in the group had any desire to walk on hot coals, we drove to the Shadow Bay Campground on the south end of Waldo Lake and hiked around the south side of the lake. It was a very interesting hike as we could see across the lake to the north, and the entire area was covered with thick smoke and flashes of orange flames. Sailboats and canoes were silhouetted against the fire, which made it seem unreal. We hiked for 2.5 hours and found a level area for lunch next to the lake. Several hikers quickly took off their boots and put their feet into the cool waters of the lake. We had 11 hikers with five guests (Dick & Lucy Rayle, John & Magic Garcia and Mary Ann Hastings) and six Obsidians: Dick Hildreth, Max Brown, Marc Hansen, Margaret Malsch, Helen Liguori, and trip leader Bob Hill.

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