Black Crater

August 22, 2010

After meeting at SEHS, we needed only two vehicles to get our group of 9 up to the trailhead near the Dee Wright Observatory—so by the time we started hiking, we were already quite chummy! The trail starts climbing immediately, and continues to climb quite continuously all the way up. It was steeper than I remembered (I’m not sure which conclusion is worse: that I’m losing my memory, or that a hike that didn’t seem so steep a few years ago suddenly seems very steep to me now. Welcome to life as an old fart!) The trail rises through lodgepole forests, then a few rock outcroppings, a few meadows, and finally arrives on a moon-like volcanic landscape for potentially stunning views of the Cascades. We saw most of the major Cascade peaks: we saw most of North and Middle Sister, most of South Sister, most of Mount Washington... but unfortunately we didn’t see the peaks of any of these, because they were covered by clouds! Broken Top was completely visible and beautiful, while Mt. Jefferson was little more than a rumor. Despite very cold, windy conditions at the top (fortunately these Obsidians were all well-prepared), we enjoyed a relatively quick lunch in the shelter of some trees and enjoyed the entertainment provided by an incredibly industrious ant who carried a caterpillar three times his size back to his nest. (Does it say something about me that I find “American Idol” boring, but can happily watch an industrious ant for 30 minutes?!). The trip down was much quicker than the climb up, and we all agreed it was a good trip, even if the views weren't what they might have been. Enjoying this strenuous hike were members Dick Hildreth, Lana Lindstrom, Lynn Meacham, Nola Nelson, Chris Stockdale, Richard Sundt and Sue Wolling; and nonmembers Juliana Cichy and Chuck Harpham.

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