August 30, 2009
We met up at the South Eugene High School parking lot at 6 a.m. for what was supposed to be two hikes in one day to a couple of very beautiful natural wonders in the Cascades east of Salem, Phantom Bridge and Boca Cave. Unfortunately, due to the long drive time (2+ hours one-way), I hadn’t scouted the road to the trailhead on road 2207 to Phantom Bridge this year. There was a pretty big rockslide covering road 2207 a mile or so from the trailhead which threw a rather large monkey wrench in the plan.
We talked it over and decided to hike up the road from the rockslide to the trailhead of French Creek Ridge Trail and road 2207. We started off at about 8:45 and it took us about an hour to reach the trailhead. Our efforts in road hiking up to the trail were rewarded with a wide selection of ripe berries along the trail including Huckleberries, Red Huckleberries, Thimbleberries and even some orange Salmonberries. This section of French Creek Ridge Trail hasn’t been maintained in quite some time so there were a few logs and deadfalls to climb over or crawl under and some overgrown sections. We reached the subtle turnoff to Phantom Bridge at about 11:45. We turned off the trail and walked up about 25 ft. to see Phantom Bridge. It is in some ways unfortunate that the trail to Phantom Bridge takes you to its top because it makes it seem much less impressive than it really is. It is over 30 ft. tall and spans over 20 ft. After a nice lunch and picture break we headed back to the car.
We arrived at the trailhead at about 2:00 and made it back to the car at about 3:00. We discussed continuing on to Triangulation Peak and Boca Cave but all agreed that it was best to save it for another day.
Participants: Margaret Bayless (non-member on her third hike who has a completed application); Janet Jacobsen and Ed Lizewski (members); Matt Bell (leader).