March 12, 2003
Nine of us had the good sense to ignore hyped up television weather forecasts of rain and high winds and go on the hike as planned. We were rewarded with dry skies and little if any wind. At times sunshine bathed us, and a number of us wished we had wore our hiking shorts and tee shirts. It was warm for a winter day.
The trail starts at Greenwaters Park on the eastern edge of Oakridge, a 42 mile drive from the parking lot at Amazon Pool parking lot on Hilyard. A Northwest Forest Pass is not required to park at Greenwaters Park. After crossing a footbridge over the Middle Fork of the Willamette River it is about a ½ mile walk to the formal trailhead on a gravel road that parallels the river. The trail climbs steadily and due to its consistent rate of climb, a fairly comfortable pace can be achieved. There is really little acute steepness on the trail until you get to the final 50 foot climb to the top of Larison Rock. The rock is a fairly flat topped rock that appeared to have been used as a fire lookout at one time. About a dozen persons can fit on the top comfortably.
There are good views from the top except that Diamond Peak is hidden by tall trees that also act as windbreaks making the top very pleasant. We ate our lunches and talked about other hikes we want to do this season.
It was too early in the year to notice many spring flowers, but small Manzanita trees were observed with their violet blooms. The forest was lush with greenery making the trail aesthetically pleasing. It is also well maintained and effectively free of mud. There are some views along the trail looking down over Oakridge, however, the best views await you at the top.
Rob Castleberry, Bob Hoitt, Rita Parks, and Dan Robinson were non-members on the hike. Both Rob and Rita completed their third hikes and will be joining our club. It was Dan’s and Bob’s first Obsidian hike. Obsidians on the hike were Jan Jacobsen, Ruth Romoser, Maggie Gontrum, Sharon Thomas and the leader, Joe Neal.
—photos by Joe Neal