McKenzie River Trail

December 18, 1999

The McKenzie River National Scenic Trail is accessible from Eugene by LTD bus, and non-member Leila Bull and Obsidians Elliot Aronin, Benton Elliot, Bob Huntley, Ruth Kanagy, Karen Myers and Don Ladigin (trip leader), all rode the #91 bus to the McKenzie Ranger Station, walked across the highway, and started their hike. The river was very full, and even when it was out of sight we could usually still hear the river. After hiking about four miles it was lunch time, and we stopped to eat near Belknap Springs, the developed hot springs. After lunch, we decided to visit the Belknap Springs Lodge and view their pool and the recently improved lodge. Thirsty hikers who wanted a hot beverage were delighted to find complementary coffee at the lodge. We also were impressed with the improved changing rooms and attractive lockers provided for paying visitors to the steaming pool. We then walked over the narrow footbridge across the river to view a controversial new development in that area. We observed a pseudo-Japanese garden area which showed no comprehension of, or appreciation for, Japanese architecture or Japanese garden design. Past the ersatz Orientalism was a large area of square cinder-block columns masquerading as neo-classical Greek temple columns. “Tacky” was the consensus of the group. Returning to the emerald colored lushness of the trail with a greater appreciation for the natural beauty it provided, we hiked to Scott Creek before turning around, hiking back, and waiting for the bus that would return us to Eugene.

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