Kings Valley

April 8, 2010

Rain, snow, sleet (or was it hail-or both?) and, yes, sun. We must be in the Coast Range in the Spring! Blue sky in the Gateway Center parking lot changed to snow by the time we turned onto King’s Valley Road a few miles west of Philomath. After we parked at the Breazele Forest trailhead and were ready to begin the first of our two scheduled hikes, the sun had come back out. Initially, this three mile hike travels east through lush Douglas Fir based forest along beautiful Plunkett Creek. At a junction we took the Southwest fork and proceeded to climb 300-400 feet to the top of a ridge overlooking the Plunkett drainage. The trail is in excellent condition with well constructed bridges over the stream crossings. There was relatively little mud on the trail considering the high level of precipitation in the area. Lots of flowers were visible including Houndstooth, Calypso Orchids, Spring Beauty and Trillium. A new sleet storm replaced the sun as we were hiking along the ridge. But everyone was dressed appropriately and not greatly bothered by the inclement conditions.

We returned to our the cars to proceed to Ft. Hoskins County Park for lunch and a tour of the the old fort site. However, a much stronger storm front rolled through with snow, sleet and a significant increase in wind. The chill factor must have dropped to the low 30s. We took a quick vote & decided to abort the Ft. Hoskins tour portion of the outing. As someone remarked; now that we know where it is, we can always return another day. So we returned to the warmth of our cars and headed for home. Hikers were all Obsidian veterans; Walt Dolliver, Jim & Sharon Duncan, Pat Esch, Janet Jacobsen and Dan Christensen, leader.

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