Three of us left South Eugene High School just after 8:30am. Uncertain weather and the remoteness of our destination meant we took two vehicles when we could have crammed into one, sans the extra gear required for safety. The Middle Fork Ranger Station is closed on Saturday's now, so through Westfir we went and onward up the Aufderheide (FS Road 19). Stopped by snow at an elevation of 2225 ft, just before we reached FS1940, we ditched the motorized vehicles and started hiking. Half-a-mile later we donned snowshoes. Three miles later we reached the destination I had originally planned. I had hoped to drive to FS 1944 and start the trip up from there. Instead, that is where we had lunch before snowshoeing back to the vehicles. Along the way we followed the trail of one large elk, and some mysterious signs we were unable to identify. As is not uncommon, several large trees came down in storms this past winter. It is a great time of year to appreciate the last of winter and the sleeping beauty of a snow covered montane ecosystem. By 3:30pm we were out of the forest and back to Hwy 58 before the freezing level dropped and the forest road could get icy on us! Back at home by 4:30.Members: Tom Musselwhite, Andrew McIvor. Nonmembers: Lisa Grissell.
North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette, south from Fisher Creek—photo by Tom Musselwhite
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