Belknap Resort/McKenzie River Trail

December 8, 2009

Moisture crystallized instantly in the air and we all snugged collars up around our faces as we started out from the McKenzie Bridge Ranger Station toward Belknap. Temperatures were in the low teens. My fingers spent much of the time curled up in my palms out of the fingers of my gloves, staying warm. But we were a well outfitted crowd of ten seasoned Obsidians and we had such fun looking at the bejeweled branches and rocks in the shallows of the creeks and river. “McKenzie bling” (name coined for a tree along Lost Creek that had a bead of ice on every terminal twig!), ice-crowned rocks, frozen baubles, frosted brush and ice curtains at falls were some of the frozen delights we witnessed. In places we saw that water froze in a peculiar inverted jelly-fish shape around branches that trailed in the flowing streams.

The small tree just above the natural hot springs at Belknap was completely “flocked” for the holidays as the vapor rising from the 145 degree water encrusted its branches. The 102 degree pool was a welcoming balm for the cold, though we swimmers seemed to have internal pop-up timers as we all stood up regularly to cool in the cold air - these were very brief moments! The Belknap hike is always fun and this group was a joy. All good sports and great fun to hike with! Thanks.

Members: Bill Aspegren, Daniele Delaby, Walt Doliver, Margaret Essenberg, Richard Essenberg, Yuan Hopkins, Janet Jacobsen, Barb Revere (leader), Susan Sanazaro and Pat Soussan.

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