The day started out overcast with off and on snow which got heavier as the day progressed. The temperature stayed at 34 degrees from start to finish. There was a fresh 4-6 inches of powder on top of a 4-6 foot packed base. From the Lava Camp Sno-park, we hiked across Highway 20 before putting on our snowshoes. Tom took the lead down the Old Santiam Wagon Roadl that dropped a couple hundred feet of elevation over the first 1-1/2 miles. Breaking trail wasn't an issue since a skier or two had been down the trail before us. We stopped at the first trail junction for a break before heading another 1/2 mile to the shore of Fish Lake. We visited the historic Forest Service Headquarters cabin that has been preserved. There are also a couple of rustic cabins here for rent by the Forest Service that overlook the lake. Fish Lake was ice covered but not thick enough to walk out on, though Mike ventured out a few feet before he lost the nerve. We then hiked back to the junction and took the other fork out about a mile through heavier, unbroken snow. We found a suitable place to stop for our lunch break where we chatted, told stories, and joked around. After lunch, we hiked a little further into the woods where we came upon Hackleman Creek that flows out of Fish Lake. After exploring the steep slopes for a while, we turned and headed back to the cars which was mostly an uphill trek. Overall, we hiked 5 miles through varying depths of snow and the group did a great job of staying together. We had a couple of trip and falls and a couple of break throughs that took some effort of pulling a stuck leg out. As the snow started falling harder on our way out, the quiet forest became even more enchanting.Members: Scott Hovis, David Lodeesen, Mike Smith, Tom Rundle, Lynn Meacham, May Fogg, Diana Masarie, Marguerite Cooney, Darian Morray, Kathy Randall. Nonmembers: Scott Elstad.
Fish Lake—photo by Kathy Randall
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