Santiam Wagon Road

September 10, 2008

So yet another beautiful late summer day greeted our hardy group of seven. We headed up the South Santiam River after taking the scenic route through Marcola and Cawfordsville and Sweet Home. As we had two cars-full, we were able to leave one car at the Mountain House and start our trip through history from the Sevenmile trailhead, AND WALK DOWNHILL FOR SEVEN MILES!. This hike was over half on the old roadbed of the Santiam Wagon Road. This travel-way was the primary transportation route between the central valley and eastern Oregon from the 1850s until the construction of Highway 20 in the late 1920s and 30s. This road was driven in 1905 by the first cars to cross the continent on their own power. Anyway, back to our hike. The first 3 miles were in the old Seven Mile fire, which burned the entire upper drainage in 1911. We came out of the old fire and into huge Doug fir and hemlock, around the House Rock Campground. We had some lunch in the sun on a gravel bar on the South Santiam River. We made a slight side trip to see House Rock Falls (not too exciting) and then back on the old road and down the stream to the Mountain House trailhead. A nice day with a great crew.

Hikers were members: Paul Flashenberg, Kitson Graham, Pat Hutchins (leader) and Lamonte Smith; and nonmembers: Jim Gillings, Kate Herse and Lori Humphreys.

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