The Middle Fork Trail of the Willamette River almost always makes for beautiful hiking in September, and that proved true again this year. The golden sunlight shining down through huge Douglas firs, red cedars and hemlocks, accompanied by the sounds of the Middle Fork rushing over boulders and logs is always compelling. Our group of twelve started the trail at Road 2143 after shuttling a car to Indigo Springs. The three-mile hike to Indigo Springs was a little more challenging this year because more water than usual was flowing from Cliff Springs, and the bridge crossing the substantial Indigo Creek was wrecked as a result of a fallen tree. Fortunately, another fallen log allowed us to cross without incident. We had lunch at Indigo Springs, one of the prettiest places on the Middle Fork. We then continued the hike by returning to the Middle Fork Trail and heading to Chuckle Springs. This segment requires a number of stream crossings, adding to the fun of the hike. At the turnoff to Chuckle Springs we were surprised to see that a recent fire had burned through the area, making the trail more open to the sun. The area around Chuckle Springs had been burned as well and several large burned trees had fallen into the pool at the springs. It was a disappointing sight to those of us who remember the large, green, flowing pool from previous trips. We returned to Indigo Springs to conclude the hike. It was a beautiful day to be in the woods with a great group of people.Members: Jim Duncan, Jyoti Naik, Sharon Duncan, Tom Woxell, Barbara Norregaard, Lamonte Smith, Jim Whitfield, Roberta Chord, Darko Sojak. Nonmembers: Tonya Cronkright, Elisa Pandolfi, Shari McCracken.
Jim Duncan talking about Military Wagon Road—photo by Darko Sojak
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