Little Belknap Crater

September 28, 2002

Sept. 28, a beautiful fall day for a hike. We were a little dismayed by the sight of all the parked cars along the roadside of the high elevation section of the McKenzie Pass highway. Too many hunters, but inasmuch as were headed for the wide open lava field too the north of the Dee Wright Observatory, we figured we could see any bullet coming in time to dodge it!! (Truth is we saw neither bullets nor heard any shots all day.) We arrived at Little Belknap before noon. All climbed to the very top to eat lunch and admire the view. On the way down we explored the cave and big hole. Some had their picture taken before the cave entrance by Curtis Irish who was waiting with camera and tripod for someone to appear to give his photo scale. Also we walked through the lava tube tunnel before heading down the trail. Back at the cars by two where Curtis distributed two small buckets of home-grown tomatoes. Don Payne suggested another trip to Blue Pool off the Clear Lake Highway but the occupants of the leader’s car were not up to that. Instead later they drove into Cougar Dam area looking for spawning chinook salmon as reported several days earlier by the Register-Guard (Here’s where a trip report turns into a fish story.) First we viewed the fish friendly reconstruction work doing on from a viewpoint at the top of the dam. Then we went to the lower level and spotted the spawning salmon writhing in the creek’s gravel beds. We are sure some of the fish were four feet long. Those enjoying the day were: Yuan Hopkins, Curtis Irish, Patty MacAfee, Don Payne, Barbara Schomaker, Connie Wilson, Floyd Wilson and Richard Heinzkill, leader.

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