Amazon Headwaters

July 6, 2003

Seven undaunted adventurous hikers set out to explore the headwaters of the Amazon, Amazon Creek that is.

The young man in charge of trails for the city had told me that the new proposed trail was well marked by surveyor’s flags. Counting on them to find our way we plunged into the underbrush from the trailhead off West Amazon and Martin Ave. We almost immediately encountered the obstacles expected in unexplored territory: Fallen trees, creeks to cross, steep hillsides, brambles, poison oak, twisted roots and vine maple branches that seems to reach out to grab your ankles. But worst of all were the ever present ferns which seemed to put up walls to block our easy going.

The surveyor’s flags soon ran out, or we couldn’t find them, and we were on our own following our intuition. Our intuition was off a bit, and after a while we found ourselves amongst local natives and asked for directions back to the wilderness. The natives in that area had less information than we did about where they lived and they directed us to Fox Hollow Road. Somewhat exhausted by the heat of the day, and not wanting to backtrack, we decided to walk up Fox Hollow to where it meets with the Ridgeline Trail.

At that junction we took water, rested for a while, and less one hiker who was beginning to feel the onset of poison oak, started down the new proposed trail from the upper trailhead. From here the trail is much better marked for two thirds of it, but if anything a bit harder going. Coming up, lacking surveyor flags, we had pretty much followed the fall line, which did have deer trails. Going down the surveyor flags marked out a trail with many switch backs which meant we were cutting across slopes and having to make our own trail. Eventually, near the end we did reach a developed trail, followed that down which came out in someone’s yard, and found ourselves a block away from where we stashed our cars.

The hike was fun from the sense of adventure we gained. We could see that once the trails are in that it will make a welcome addition to the trail systems in our areas. We could also get an idea of how much work it must have been for pioneers to make their way through he forest. To do this trip it took us a little over two hours. To make it a longer hike I would suggest walking it from the Amazon Pool parking lot which would add four miles to it round-trip. Non-members of the expedition with us were John LaPyyre and Dorothy Krapes. Members were Walt Dolliver, Patty MacAfee, Ruth Romoser, Rod Wood, and Joe Neal, leader. Thanks to all for sharing an in-town adventure.

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