North Bank Deer Preserve

May 11, 2003

Ten motherless hikers (or at least those who weren’t celebrating Mother’s Day on the correct day) made their way to the North Bank Deer Preserve outside of Wilbur. The hike had been postponed from the previous weekend with the hope of more clement weather and so it turned out. Although cloudy and cool, the rains held off and the wind stayed calm — very important on this particular hike.

Two different distances were offered — about 9 miles and 6.9 miles — and each hike had 5 hikers, with the shorter distance led by Margaret and Bill Prentice.

A steady uphill climb from the parking lot almost immediately produced views of the North Umpqua basin, although clouds obscured the more distant mountains. Poison oak flourished, but could be avoided. We didn’t have a botanist along, so most of the numerous wild flowers were unidentified, but we all recognized the wild irises that grew in abundance.

After a snack stop on top of Middle Knob, the group divided into its two sections with the longer hikers climbing up to the boundary trail and the shorter ones heading off down Chasm Creek. The Prentices reported that they had a problem crossing the creek in one spot and had to do some bushwhacking to find a suitable crossing spot but otherwise encountered no problems on this unscouted portion of the trail. Up on the boundary trail, the group had lunch on a rock outcropping with great views and then headed down to meet up with the Chasm Creek trail. A couple of magnificent old madrone trees graced the trail.

A number of horse trailers had meanwhile arrived in the parking lot — this hike needs to be done early in the day to avoid the horses.

Hikers were Ann-Marie Askew, Jim Clarkson, Daniele Delaby, Yuan Hopkins, Bob Huntley, Becky Lipton, Bill and Margaret Prentice, Chris Stockdale (leader) and Sheila Ward.

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