Indigo Springs

September 24, 2006

A beautiful late September day set the tone for our hike up the Middle Fork Trail to Indigo Springs and Chuckle Springs. On the way to the trail head we stopped at Rigdon Meadow, a historic site on the Oregon Central Military Wagon Road, and briefly reviewed the history of the old road. The trail from FS Road 2143 to Indigo Springs leads through a lush forest of Douglas fir, incense cedar and the occasional ponderosa pine, enhanced by the golden fall sunlight filtering through the overstory and the sounds of the adjacent Middle Fork of the Willamette. We stopped for lunch at Indigo Springs where a small section of the old military road can still be seen. We then continued further along the Middle Fork to Chuckle Springs. This part of the trail contains many stream crossings, testing our balance and agility. We are happy to report that Marshall’s Landing was forded without incident. We spent some time at Chuckle Springs where the water flows out of the ground beneath one’s feet to form a large peaceful pool before rushing downhill to join the Middle Fork. We returned to Indigo Springs and headed for home but not before making the obligatory stop at the Dairy Queen in Oakridge to replace the calories (and then some) we had just expended on the hike. It was a large and very congenial group that tolerated the history lesson and enjoyed a beautiful walk on a lovely day. The hikers included members Rick Ahrens, Anne Bonine, Stephen Brander, Walt Dolliver, Sharon and Jim Duncan (leaders), Jim Fritz, Laurie Funkhouser, Kathy and Stewart Hoeg, Yuan Hopkins, Sherwood Jefferies, Beth and Ken Kodama, Patrice McCaffrey, Jack O’Donnell, Sharon Ritchie, and nonmember Kyle Burns.

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