August 13, 2005
The East Ridge Trail on Marys Peak turned out to be a good choice for a hike on a hot August morning. The trail climbs gently up the ridge through fine old growth woods, making for a cool and enjoyable walk. We traversed across to the North Ridge Trail via the Tie Trail (reversing the loop described by Sullivan) and proceeded up the final gravel road to the top of the highest peak in the Coast Range. The summit was breezy and pleasant though we knew the valley below was no doubt beginning to swelter.
We had to use our imagination to enjoy the far vista as we ate our lunch. The air all around was filled with a thick haze of smoke and dust. The valley floor was murky and obscured and not a single Cascade peak was visible. That was a bit of a disappointment but we were glad to be above the worst of the haze settled in the valley below.
We followed the East Ridge Trail back down to the car and were glad for air conditioning on the ride back. A note to those who have read Sullivan’s description or not hiked this area for a while: The trail junctions are now clearly signed and well marked. Though none of us had done this exact hike before we had no trouble figuring out where we were or needed to go.
Thanks to those who joined me and helped make this a most enjoyable outing.
Hikers were: members Dan Bates and Max Brown; non-members Les and Marian Brod; and leader Doug Nelson.