Jefferson Park

September 6-8, 1996

This was our fourth almost-annual 3-day backpack into Jeff Park. Again, Mother Nature pulled out all the stops for us the slog in was under a cloudy sky, thank heaven! Then the clouds lifted to a succession of warm days and cool, star-filled nights. Have you ever felt like someone was setting their tent up inside yours? Not so here! We had one at Scout Lake. Two at Park Lake and two at Bays Lake. Probably a quarter-of-amile apart. So funny, but it caused no problems. We just agreed when and where to meet.

On Friday Barb, Anne M. and I hiked to “our spring” for water. Then Anne and I tried to find two lakes shown on the map. Found one later, but first Anne spotted a sow and cub eating huckleberries in a meadow on the side of the mountain. Far enough away to be safe (I hoped), but seen with the naked eye and better with binoculars. She was rather awesome when she stood up looking our way! Gold brown with a dark brown face. The cub was dark brown and half her size. Anne went back Saturday evening and saw the sow again … even closer this time!

Scott and Anne Mc came in by flashlight at 9:30 Friday night. With all the trails at Jeff Park, this was truly an amazing feat as it was their first time in the Park! Barb devoted Saturday to a truly “fruitless” search for huckleberries. The rest of us took the PCNST to the top of Park Ridge with wonderful views to the north. Mt. Hood looked within spitting distance. We then scree/boulder hopped down to Sprague Lake and down into the Park to show Anne Mc and Scott “our spring” for future reference. Dinner was the usual examination of each other’s stoves and meals.

Sunday am, we walked around Bays Lake then down to Breitenbush River. Left the Park at noon. Scott encountered his first pica on the trek out. Cute little devil sitting on a rock scolding us (the pica, not Scott!). A sad ending to a perfect three days: Mom’s Cafe closed early, so no pie for a job well done. Many thanks to Anne Montgomery, Anne McLucas and Scott Hovis for sharirg another grand adventure. Co-leaders Barb Elsen & Sharon Ritchie.


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