We arrived at the trailhead at 10:30 am; the weather was overcast and about 56 degrees. The first mile was a pleasant, cool hike to Maude Creek. The next mile and a half the forested trail took a steep incline and the hikers layers started coming off as the cloud cover also began to break up. The forest floor was covered most notably with Bunch Berry in full bloom. As we entered the meadows at two and half miles into the hike we were met as promised with Bracken Fern and Blue Lupine. The group was surprised with Pink Lupine as well, along with Larkspur, Columbine, Skyrocket Gila, Indian Paintbrush and Bear Grass. After a mile or so of gentle incline through the meadows we entered a stand of mountain hemlock and subalpine fir, and the last half mile or so of steep incline up the ridgecrest trail, arriving at the summit at just after 1pm. We stayed for a leisurely lunch and hoped for the cloudcover to lift and reveal the full scope of the Cascade Mountains from Hood to Three sisters, but a distant thunderstorm to the north mostly obscured Mt. Jefferson and the view to Mt. Hood. Three Fingered Jack and Mt. Washington were in full view and all but the peaks of the Three Sisters. Just as we left the summit about 2:15 pm, Mt. Jefferson came into view. As we began the descent to the trailhead, a moderate breeze kept us pleasantly cool and we even had a sprinkle of rain or two. We arrived at the trailhead at 4:15pm, finishing at a pleasant 73 degrees with mostly sunny skies.Members: Jim Woodard, Guy Strahon, Jyoti Naik, Diana Masarie, Judy Terry, Laurie Funkhouser, Jennifer Baer. Nonmembers: Jim Woods, Tom Giesen, Judy Parker, Tom Bornstein, Eva Bornstein.
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