Castle Rock

November 17, 2002

Six of us came together for a late autumn hike to a high point overlooking the McKenzie River Valley. We met at the South Eugene parking lot at 8 a.m. and drove to the settlement of Rainbow and crossed the river on the road which joins with King Road across the covered bridge. The trailhead is at the same elevation as the river, about 1200 feet. We began hiking at 9:30. Heavy rain had fallen intermittently on Saturday, but we enjoyed a cool and rainless day. The trail was in very good shape considering the downpour of the day before. We hiked at an unhurried, moderate pace and arrived at the top of Castle Rock, elevation about 3850 feet, at 12:10. Fog clouds filled the valley to the east so there we no views of the Sisters. The breeze blew high fog clouds over the ridges and peaks of the Old Cascades. Breaks in the clouds showed us patches of blue sky up high, and the ridges to the south, perhaps 500 feet higher, had a blanket of snow. Low-lying fog clouds moved across the South Fork and other tributaries, sometimes obscuring our views almost entirely and sometime revealing timbered ridges and mountains and valleys. Clouds of mist clung to the hillsides and sometimes were carried up by the air currents. We were warm from the climb upon arriving at the top, and the combination of cool temperature and breeze soon cooled us. Fortunately, all of us had enough layers of clothing to avoid becoming chilled. We began descending at 12:40 and got back to the van before 3 p.m. and arrived back to the starting point at 4:00. Hikers were Robert Harrison, on his first Obsidian hike, Fred Felter, Jane Bartell, Ann-Marie Askew, Richard Romm, and Allan Coons, leader.


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