Summer hiking in Oregon can often be unpredictable, and so it was for the annual Bunchgrass Ridge hike. Instead of finding the usual copious displays of bear grass and other wild flowers, we encountered snow drifts on the road to the trailhead that prevented us from driving all the way. Jim Whitfield, driving Janet Jacobsen’s all wheel drive Subaru, blasted through a few drifts before we reached one that all agreed was too deep to attempt. In spite of the reservations of the leader, the group voted to hike on the road to see what lay ahead. The last stretch of road to the trail was completely snowbound, but the snow was firm enough for us to walk on. The trail turned out to be reasonably easy to find, although in some places in the woods the drifts were so high that we had to do some major route finding. No bear grass but many avalanche lilies, newly blooming trillium and other unidentified flowers decorated the trail where the snow had melted; unfortunately, those same areas attracted extremely hungry mosquitoes. Although we had begun the hike in clouds, obscuring the views from this ridge top hike, the sun finally started breaking through to give those who hadn’t done this trail before an idea of those views. Everyone agreed that they would come back and hike this route again later in the year, after the snow and mosquitoes have left. A stop at the DQ in Oakridge rewarded us for our perseverance in completing our hike.Members: Chris Stockdale, Marianne Camp, Jim Whitfield, Janet Jacobsen. Nonmembers: Jorry Rolfe.
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