Anyway, my brother and dad talked me in to going on a hike with them on Saturday and since I really needed to get a little exercise/cross training in, I decided this would be a great opportunity. We decided to tackle a hike rated as "difficult" on the USDA Forest Service site. Not sure what exactly classifies something as 'difficult' according to the government, but their assessment was right on target.
|There are a LOT more switchbacks than what are shown on this map!|
Fortunately, the trail was really beautiful. Lots of shade not to mention the fact that all the Rhodies were in bloom as was the Bear Grass and some other plants which me, not being a green thumb of any sort couldn't identify. We even ran into snow about 2/3 of the way up the trail.
It took us almost three hours to reach the end of the trail (it's the nominal summit - the real summit is another mile & 500 feet of elevation of bush whacking so we opted out) which is a precipice at 4100 ft. that used to house a forest service lookout post and has a nearly 360º view that overlooks the North Fork of the Santiam River Valley as well as offers a great view of Mt. Jefferson and surrounding peaks. Despite it being a little hazy we could also make out some of the mountains of the Coast Range such as Mary's Peak. All in all a wonderful view and worth the hike.
|Dad & Me with Mt. Jefferson in the background|
|Kent (my brother, aka Heather's husband) & Me|
Still, it was a really enjoyable day and a great way to get in a bit of cross training that I don't normally have the chance at.
Here's hoping everyone has had a happy and safe Independence Day!