Patterson Mountain

June 21, 2000

Not too far beyond Dexter Reservoir, Patterson Mountain Road wends its way up most of the elevation gain necessary to hike Patterson Mountain. It’s a checkerboard area, and one of the cuts, almost at the top, offers a 300-degree panorama, from the Sisters, then to the east, south and south-west. The amount of woodland plants fighting for survival in this inhospitable clearing offers a wonderful laboratory for studying recovery. Six of us took the two-plus mile (one way) Woodland Trail through one of the loveliest, close-by, old growth forests — the oxalis layers the woodland floor on the downhill side and rhododendron reaches for the light on the uphill side. Two different meadows offer an abundance of flowers: swamp laurel (Kalmia) early in June, and iris, paintbrush, camas, and lilies later in July. At the end of the trail, not quite at the top of the rounded mountain, we ate lunch at a rock outcropping offering Phlox, masses of Heuchera, and the wonderful combination of glistening white Cat’s Ears (Calchortus subalpinus) and the nodding blue Gilia. Three Obsidians, Joe Scheibe, Mark Slipp and trip leader Melody Clarkson enjoyed sharing this hike with three guests, Barbara Bakke, Mary Ann Holzer and Ethel Weltman.

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