Ikenick SnoPark

December 23, 1998

This trip to Ikenick SnoPark and the Isaak Nickerson Loop had been postponed a week “on doctor’s orders” to Wednesday, December 23. I had posted a notice on the Obsidian bulletin board and revised the trip sheet to read “SEHS parking lot” as our meeting and departure place instead of 58th & Main in Springfield, but failed to change the body of the description. As a result one of the three persons who had signed up was waiting for us in Springfield as we met at 19th & Patterson (my apologies to Don Ladigin!). One person canceled, which left Obsidian Randi Brox and me. The pavement of Hwy. 126 was dry all the way to Ikenick save for a few places, marked, where water had flowed out onto the highway and frozen solid. At Ikenick the snow was crusty and icy so that we decided to skip the loop part and instead stayed on the logging road to the intersection with the upper leg of the loop. There we found our “lunch log”, free of snow, in front of a brook babbling quietly from below its frozen surface. The two-mile run back out was gentle, with a view of Three Fingered Jack. We decided to stop at Belknap Hot Springs Resort. The charge for use of the pool for an hour is now $4.50. When I asked “Since when?” the answer was “Since May, when they started charging for use of the Cougar Hot Springs”. Perhaps the 50% increase serves to keep frustrated customers at Cougar Hot Springs from switching to Belknap? Randi feels the hot pool at Belknap is still well worth the $4.50 fee. Perhaps, but the current owners managed to renovate away what rustic charm the old main lodge used to have. With the old timber siding gone, the OD painted stucco lodge reminds me of an Army building. Before we got to the Rustic Skillet restaurant we stopped at Harbicks Country Store to be assured that their Texaco service station would continue in operation after their McKenzie Bridge store gas station closed down. At the Rustic Skillet I tried their home-made cinnamon roll and doughnut washed down with road coffee, which served to keep me wide awake until we arrived in Eugene at 5:00. — Hank Plant, leader.

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