July 12, 2009
The forecasted threat of thunderstorms didn’t deter the group of hikers that ventured to explore the Bunchgrass Ridge section of the Eugene to Pacific Crest Trail. Although the weather up there remained misty, cool and damp, not a rumble of thunder nor flash of lightening was witnessed to prevent completion of this mission. Instead, the 9 of us encountered a profusion of bear grass in full bloom, with several meadows carpeted with these tall spikes that have white topknots of minute flowers. In fact, appearing as they did in the mist, the flowers took on a rather surreal look of legions of ghost soldiers. The bear grass bloomed throughout the woods and in the old Warner Creek burn area, where they were mixed with pink rhododendrons.
Although the mist prevented us from enjoying the usual views from this ridge that runs parallel to Hwy 58 above Oakridge, everybody agreed that the bear grass made the trip worthwhile. We cut the hike short since we were getting very damp and chilly from forging through the wet overgrown underbrush along much of this under-used trail. One of the group, John Hegg, decided to tackle the so-called “challenge” of the trail, which is a fairly short, but steep climb that normally would reward you with a great view of Diamond Peak. The rest of us stayed low to eat lunch before heading back.
Imagine our surprise when, upon returning to Eugene, we heard about the major thunderstorm that had occurred during the day.
Hikers were John Hegg, Daphne James, Lisa Logsdon, Sharon McCarroll, Judy Ness, Jeanne Palzinksi, Randy Sinnott, Lyndell Wilken and Chris Stockdale, leader.