Erma Bell Lakes/Williams Lake Loop

August 14, 2002

To escape the 100 degrees heat in Eugene, twelve hikers journeyed to Skookum Creek Campground and the trailhead for a walk to Erma Bell Lakes. It was a warm day, but the generally shady trail and gentle breezes off the lakes kept us reasonably comfortable. An added bonus was that the mosquitoes that had been present just one week earlier had virtually disappeared. Several in the group took full advantage of the ripe huckleberries as we walked along the trail. We lunched in shady places at Williams Lake and continued the loop hike to Otter Lake. We passed several small meadows on this part of the trail, and a number of wildflowers were still in bloom, including bunchberry, lupines, Indian paintbrush, white yarrow, red columbines, tiger lilies, mountain arnica, as well as pinedrops. At the Otter Lake outlet, the trail was covered with hundreds of tiny frogs, apparently heading for the stream. Despite our best efforts, the group left a bit of road-kill in its wake. Otter Lake proved to be the coolest place on the trip, and with some reluctance, we finally continued on, reaching the parking lot at 3:00 PM. The congenial group included Dan Bates, Max Brown, Don Colgan (completing his 3rd qualifying hike), Stewart Hoeg, Kristin Peterson, Margaret Prentice, Chisako Sakai, Denny and Jeanne Schmidt, Sheila Ward, and leaders Sharon and Jim Duncan.

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