September 25, 1999
Substitute Point is a high point on Foley Ridge, six miles to the west of South Sister.
It has an interesting history as a survey triangulation point, and as the location of an
old fire watchtower.
Today, all that remains of the watchtower are parts of the foundation and the carefully
carved names of the old fire watch persons who chiseled their names on the summit rocks.
On the first Saturday of Fall, our five-mile hike to this historic summit was dampened by
drizzle, thick fog, and cool temperatures.
The cool and damp was actually a pleasant change to the hot and dusty trails of summer.
There were some wonderful views when the fog mixed with the towering old growth trees along
the Foley Ridge Trail.
Near the saddle between Proxy Point and Substitute Point, a bull elk bugled twice nearby,
invisible in the fog, adding to the sensation that Autumn is definitely upon us.
We ate a hurried lunch on the summit, with a steady north wind and temperatures in the low 40s.
We descended to get out of the wind, without ever getting a view of the mountains and wilderness
The group wasted no time on the hike out to the cars, and we completed the entire 10-mile hike
in four hours.
Hikers were guests Pat Adams, Mari Baldwin, Page Houchens, Lyndell Wilken
and Obsidians Rich Romm and leader Brian Hoyland.