Erma Bell-Otter-Williams Lakes Loop

October 7, 2006

We were in a quandary as to how to approach this loop hike after being notified by Joanne Ledet that in August she had difficulty crossing high water at Otter Creek. Should we go clockwise or counterclockwise? If counter-clockwise, turning back at Otter Cr. would not be a pleasant option. We chose clockwise and found that Otter Creek was an obstacle that was tricky but doable. Eight if us used walking sticks to teeter and creep along spindly logs and tippy rocks; three others, protecting their boots with plastic bags secured by rubber bands, slogged through 20 feet of mud and ankle-deep water. The rest of the trail was dry and the many creek fords were dry or mere trickles. We encountered no other hikers in this usually heavily travelled area — even on the cool-crisp perfect autumn day that nature gave us. We scared up lots of birds and stepped over one green tree frog and a single slug, but otherwise spotted no wildlife. This trail loops through meadows, second growth and old growth, constantly providing new interest and several hikers remarked how the hike and the day sped by. My thanks to my pleasant companions on this, my 100th Obsidian hike!!

Many thanks to drivers: John Lee, Becky Lipton and Daniele Delaby, and to Norma Lockyear and Marshall Kandell who ferried hikers to or from the Thurston meet.

Members: Daniele Delaby, Chuck Eyers, Paul Flashenberg, Marshall Kandell, John Lee, Becky Lipton, Norma Lockyear, Barbara Morgan, Michelle Tambellini and Barb Revere, leader. Nonmember: Andrew Watson.

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