The Siskiyou Field Institute’s Deer Creek Center sits just outside Selma, Oregon, at the gateway to the Illinois River, one of the West’s most scenic and wild rivers. Ideally located to access many different hikes, the Center has a wonderful set up for campers. In addition to spacious grounds with almost no restriction on where one can erect a tent, it has a covered picnic pavilion along with a full size gas stove, refrigerator and BBQ grill. It has running water to the sink, although not hot water, and numerous electrical outlets. We utilized those outlets by bringing electric kettles and coffee makers, a 4-burner toaster and even a microwave. Since participants were responsible for bringing their own breakfast fixings, these items were in great demand. And last, but certainly not least, campers have solar powered showers and flush toilets close by.
The weather was almost perfect with mild sunny days and relatively cool nights. Thanks to Brad and Randy who both brought firewood, we had campfires in the fire pit three of the four nights we were there.
Dinners were organized and prepared by teams of six, who chose the menu, did all the shopping, cooking and cleaning. We ate well!
So what was the downside to what sounds like an idyllic trip? Thanks to the copious and frequent snowfalls throughout the winter and into spring, we were unable to access all of the higher elevation hikes. This was disappointing as the trip had been advertised to have wonderful, high elevation hikes. However, the group was able to find enough interesting trails to keep everyone happy. Trails along the Illinois River were festooned with an abundance of wild flowers; a group ventured to the end of the Illinois River Road to hike part of the river trail (the last mile or so of this road is suitable only for high clearance, rugged vehicles); others spent time birding on and around the Center’s grounds, and a large group visited the Oregon Caves on the last day.Members: Chris Stockdale, Nikki Frank, Evelyn Nagy, Scott Hovis, Jorry Rolfe, David Lodeesen, Nola Nelson, Randy Sinnott, Lynda Christiansen, Keiko Bryan, Fumiyo Tao, Ben Brown, Marsha Barr, Tom Rundle, Meg Stewart Smith, Brad Bennett, Consuelo Gomez, Diantha Hull, Emily Rice, Cari Soderlund. Nonmembers: Barbara Kay Cosby.
Brad post holing up to his thigh pleading for help on the Baby Foot Lake Trail.—photo by David Lodeesen
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