McKenzie River Trail

March 26, 2005

A week earlier when I realized that there were no trips scheduled for Saturday, March 26, I e-mailed the Summer Trips Chair that I would lead a hike on the McKenzie River Trail. In spite of storm warnings for rain and wind, 12 of us headed up the McKenzie River. My original plans were to do a one way eight mile shuttle and to stop on the way home at Belknap Springs for a short dip. Under the porch at the closed Ranger Station, we used the three trail maps that I had purchased at the Forest Service in Eugene to come up with a different plan. Anne McLucas suggested that we start the trip at Paradise Campground and hike up the trail to Belknap Springs Road (2.6 miles) continuing on to Buck Bridge (1.7 miles.) This turned out to be a perfect plan especially when the rainfall increased. On the way back as we approached the Belknap Lodge grounds, we decided to walk through the crowded RV campground. I made the mistake of not waiting for Bonnie and the sweep, Wayne Deeter. Fortunately, they took the trail to the lodge and joined us there. Fortunately, we were able to eat lunch in the warm and dry lodge. Fortunately, the wet hike back to the cars was a short one. We enjoyed the trilliums along the trail. Wayne discovered a lone calypso orchid. We opted not to return to the lodge for the swim. Next time, let’s put our bathing suits in our packs.

Joining us on the trip was Joe Baker who just moved to Eugene from Atlanta, Georgia. Ken Berman from Washington, D.C., was in town visiting his brother, Bob. Ken, a member of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, shared information about their 3000 member club. He told us about the five rental cabins built in the CCC era that they maintain. Back in Eugene, I drove past the Obsidian Lodge so that Ken could report back to his hiking club that we had also had a cabin in the woods. In spite of the rain and the change in plans, everyone said they enjoyed the trip. I thank Bob Huntley and Anne McLucas who used the maps to keep all of us going in the right direction and Wayne who made sure that all twelve of us completed the trip.

Hikers were: Joe Baker, LaRee Beckley, Bob Berman, Ken Berman, Anne Bonine, Wayne Deeter, Bob Huntley, Janet Jacobsen (leader), Anne Dhu McLucas, Jack O’Donnell, Bonnie Richman, and Nancy Whitfield.

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