Quaking Aspen Swamp

July 8, 2000

Nine hikers met at 10:15 at Harbick’s Country Store near McKenzie Bridge. It was a beautiful day. We drove up to Cougar Dam, across it, and up the East Fork Road to the Lowder Mountain trailhead. From there we took an easy downhill hike (with a few windfalls to scramble over) about half-a-mile to the swamp. Before going out into the open area, we stopped for lunch. While we ate, Peggy gave a spiel about the current roadless area scam, and how it won’t actually protect these areas from logging, mining and grazing. We also discussed the so-called Fee Demo Program, which includes Trail Park Passes, a rip-off which in a sense is a form of double taxation. After all this, we strolled out and all around the swamp, noting such things as bog orchids, elephant’s heads, bistort, monkshood, etc. Our search for bog clubmoss (formerly Lycopodium inundatum, now transferred to a different genus, Lycopodiella inundatum - simply because its fertile stem does not branch! talk about “splitters”). We arrived at the small grove of Quaking Aspens, and speculated about their presence there, so unusual for the west side. We meandered down into the central part of the area, with open water surrounded by an actual floating bog, on which we jumped up and down as a mild trampoline. As we were about to leave, and begin our ascent back up to the waiting cars, Ellen noticed something under a shrub back in the trees. She said, “Is that the Bog Club Moss?” I said, “Well, no. But it is a clubmoss!” It turned out to be Lycopodium sitchense, which I had not previously found there. Enjoying the leisurely hike were nonmembers Peggy Robinson, Yuan Hopkins, Brad Clements, Dan Robinson, Ellen Johnson and Loritta Davidson. Obsidians were Barbara Chinn, Mary Ellen West and leader Herm Fitz.

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