North Bank Deer Preserve

May 2, 2004

A glorious spring day and beautiful scenery welcomed the six hikers who headed south on May 2 to trek in the North Bank Deer Preserve hills, just outside Wilbur. Although the display of poison oak was overwhelming, all of the toxic foliage was back far enough from the trail that nobody had a one-on-one encounter. Surprisingly enough, we encountered only one other hiker—when we had done this trail last year, we saw quite a number of horses. Where was everybody on a perfect day? Although we didnít see any of the Columbia White-tailed deer that are resident in the preserve, we did see many varieties of wild flowers, including incredible displays of wild irises of every hue, from pale, pale cream to deep purple. We spent our lunch break on the ridge that overlooks the Umpqua Basin, basking in the warm sunshine and staying cool thanks to a gentle breeze. The trail takes you past two magnificent old madrones; I was disgusted to see that somebody had carved initials and dates on one of these since I was last here in May 2003. What on earth goes through peopleís minds that make them ruin such an incredible creation of Nature? However, that was the only sour note of this whole day. This hike is highly recommended: itís easy to get to (all paved roads) and offers a great contrast to the usual Cascade forest/mountain/lake hikes. However, if you go in summer, be sure to take plenty of water, sunscreen and protective clothing as most of the trail is in the open.

Joining Chris Stockdale, hike leader, were Obsidian members Marc Hansen and Karen Rayle along with nonmembers Shawn Phelps, Guy Strahon and Nancy Whitfield.


On the trail


photos by Chris Stockdale

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