Colburg Hills — Baldy

May 24, 2003

I decided to keep the size of the group this year again to 24, but I did get a person who decided not to go due to the large size of the party. Can’t win. The group got together at the parking lot, and after collecting the trip fees and cars/riders together, we headed out Coburg Road to the gravel parking lot just beyond Spores Bridge over the McKenzie River. I do this because of the lack of space by the entrance gate beyond. Asking everybody to wait 5 minutes before they followed me, I drove on to the “Pasture Gate”. I opened the gate and drove up to the parking area. There I left Horst Lueck to park the cars which soon showed up full of eager hikers. No introductions due to size of party, I just told everybody to be friendly and say hello to strangers, because soon they will be a friend. Then the pep talk, warnings, unwanted advice, and a comment about the special permission allowed us to hike on private land. We walked McKenzie View Road eastward to the “Trail Gate”. Over the gate, and here is where I had “Men Ahead”. This year it worked fine, unlike last year when the ladies revolted and did “Women Everywhere”. When we all rejoined, we headed up the people/cow/deer/racoon/turkey trail past the marsh. Then on the “Kirk Memorial Trail” that heads up the steep slope to the “Cave”. With with 22 hikers it was an awesome sight looking down the switchbacks of the trail to see the many legged, many colored, centipede slowly working its way uphill. Bob Huntley was doing an very excellent job of being “Tail End Charlie” and did not lose anybody. We explored the “Cave”, and all of us, except one young lady who stood guard outside for safety reasons (In case we got lost), climbed inside. We then continued along the trail, which in some places is built with boards fastened to the rock wall, while I pointed out the many rock climbing routes on the steep vertical rock cliffs. Then we reached the top of the ridge where we walked over to the open area to view the Springfield/Eugene area below. Then upward and onward to the summit of “Baldy” which we reached at 12:00. This year the weather was just about perfect with no rain (despite the morning scare of moisture at parking lot) and clear views in all directions. Enjoyed a long lunch period and many conversations with old friends and new friends. After lunch we headed downward by a different route mostly cross country. When we got to the “Whale” (which was used by the Obsidian climbing schools for years to teach basic climbing) a few of the hikers had to check it out. But soon I was herding them down the pasture toward the cars. Everybody had made it in fine shape, and I think had enjoyed this different view of Eugene/Springfield area, the woods and rocks of the Colburg Hills, as I had enjoyed sharing it with them.

Those on the trip: Max Brown, Linda Cheney, Chris Cloepfil, Daniele Delaby, Jim and Sharon Duncan, Norma Etter, Fred Felter, Frank Fevilli, Maggie Gontrum, Marc Hansen, Yuan Hopkins, Scott Hovis, Bob Huntley, Gary Kirk (leader), Diane Kurz, Horst Lueck, Randy Melton, Dan Robinson, Chisako Sakai, Michelle Tambellini and Kay Wittney.

Hikers in the “Cave” (by Gary Kirk)

Summit of Baldy (by Gary Kirk)

Hikers heading toward the cave (by Horst Lueck)

Oregon Iris ( by Horst Lueck)

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