October 22, 2006
Anybody who wasnít in the great outdoors on this day was missing a spectacular experience of glorious weather combined with jaw-dropping fall colors.
The five hikers who showed up at SEHS for the trip to the Waldo Lake area were treated to an avenue of fall colors along Highway 58, especially from Oakridge to the turn off at Waldo Lake Road. A few minutes after arriving at the trail head, they were joined by non-member Janet Winter who had missed the deadline for meeting at the school and didnít want to miss out on the day. So she drove by herself, not knowing if she would find us but willing to hike on her own.
The trail wends upward through the forest, passing several lakes, including Birthday Lake and Verde Lake. To our surprise, we encountered a fair amount of snow on the trail, even at lower altitudes. But the snow didnít hinder our progress but rather added to the beauty of the scenery when we saw the brightly colored huckleberry leaves amongst the snow drifts.
The view from the summit didnít disappoint when we realized we could see as far as Mt. Hood. Waldo Lake looked an incredibly vivid blue (and a small sailboat could be spotted in the distance), and the line of Cascade peaks with their new light coating of snow was dramatic. For the couple of people who werenít too sure of which peak was which, Sam Miller and Dick Hildreth were able to give an accurate guide to each one. We finally had to drag ourselves away from the view after a leisurely lunch and headed back down. Two hunters materialized which prompted those of us with bright colors to don our hats, vests, etc. to make sure we werenít mistaken for a deer or elk.
Thanks from leader Chris Stockdale for the great company up this trail to Obsidians John Cooper, Dick Hildreth, Sam Miller, and non-members Ed Stuart and Janet Winter.
—photos by Chris Stockdale