Seven hikers got an early start to explore this unique pocket wilderness in the North Umpqua National Forest. A road closure caused a change of intended trailhead and delayed start. The trail soon entered an old burn. Old growth survivors of the fire stood in a park-like setting cleared of underbrush. Mostly the large trees had been seared but not killed. In narrow draws where the fire had produced a "chimney-effect", the charred trunks attested to an extreme heat episode. An area that really benefited from fire was a huge flat known as Pine Bench where old growth ponderosa pine were cleared of the choking understory. Lunch was had on a rocky prominence that fell off 200 feet to the canyon below. Five intrepid hikers went an extra 1.7 miles to where the trail crossed Boulder Creek and took advantage of the cool water to swim on this day when the mercury reached 95 degrees. The hike out was longer than the hike in due to the heat. One hiker, who hiked past a trail intersection, was unaccounted for long enough to cause concern. Ultimately, they realized their mistake and backtracked causing a delay, but averting tragedy.Members: Randy Sinnott, Daphne James, Tom Giesen, Jorry Rolfe, Lisa Grissell. Nonmembers: Jade Isa, Alan Curtis.
group photo—photo by Randy Sinnott
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