Tag Archives: Don

Trips with Don

5/7/2016 – Lower Milepost 3 Trail and Oak Grove Work Center

Date of Hike: 5/7/2016
Location of Hike: Lower Milepost 3 Trail and Oak Grove Work Center
Weather during Hike: Sunny and warm
Hiking Buddies: Kirk, Don, Brian, Elizabeth, Jane
Start Time: 10:30 AM  End Time: 3:00 PM
Hike Distance: 1.3 miles  
Pictures: Link
Hike description

The agenda for this day was to do two things:
1- Explore below the 4635 road where the MP3 trailhead is, to try and find the trail down to Oak Grove
2 – Meet some of Rondy’s family at Oak Grove to get a tour of the buildings and hear about what it was like to live there 50 years ago.

We parked on car at Oak Grove and then drove up to the MP3 trailhead to start our explorations – we fanned out in the woods, and it bout 15 minutes, Kirk had found a phone line insulator:

Unfortunately, that was the only one we found, but at least it showed us where the tread was. Once we found that we worked back and forth from that point, flagging and doing some lopping ot make the route more apparent. Much of the route was overgrown with vine maple. Here is one section of tread (it looked much better in person):

We continued down the trail, flagging as we went until we got to a newer cut area where it kind of disappeared. We ended up finding the spur road that shows on the map – we had thought that maybe the spur road took out the trail since it headed in exactly the right direction. We followed it down until we were pretty much due north of Oak Grove and we saw a “corridor” thru the woods – we headed down that way, wondering if we might find some tread. On the way, we found these bird bones and Skull (kind of a weird find):

We ended up finding what seemed like tread in this area and it led down to 4630. We were running out of time, so we will have to come back and scope out the 3 areas that were kind of fuzzy – right below the road – the section before the spur road (180 spur) and then the last section above 4630.

We made it down to the Oak Grove work center and ate lunch. Shortly after we were done, Elizabeth came walking down the road, followed shortly by her husband and mom. A few minutes later, Brian came and joined us. We chatted for a bit and did introductions and then started looking at all the old buildings. We had viewed them over a year ago, but really didn’t have any context for any of the buildings. We had made guesses (and some of them were correct), but now we know what each building was for, and also the location of a couple of other buildings that are no longer there:

Unfortunately, there has been even more vandalism – now there is graffiti in at least a couple of the buildings. In Rondy’s old house, the chimney has been “tagged” and in the warehouse building, the walls are completely covered in graffiti now. It is very sad what is becoming of this place – it holds such history.

I thought I had photos of all the houses and buildings from our prior trip, but I only took a couple of photos – I will have to take more photos at some other time to preserve what is left of these buildings.

We also found out that the the meadow to the east was where the horses and mules grazed while they were there. They were taken somewhere lower in the winter, but spring, summer and fall they were there. Actually, most of the summer they were probably out on the trail, supplying the lookouts. In addition, we identified which of the 2 shop buildings was the sign shop (where all the cool signs were made) and which was just a shop.

After touring all the buildings, we drove back up the road to locate the location of the old Collawash Ranger Station. It was where I kind of thought it was – pretty much at the junction of the 4630 and 4631 roads – there is an open area in the woods where people now camp – that is where it used to be – just west of Silvertip (which used to be a logging camp). Once the Rippplebrook Ranger station was built, the Oak Grove and Collawash Ranger stations were combined in Ripplebrook and both of the others closed. At some point both buildings were destroyed.

After locating that, we went back to our car and drove back up to get the Van and come home. A stop at Fearless made for a great end to a great day out in the woods with great people.

A couple of closing photos:

Wintertime view of Oak Grove looking east (from 1959):

Lastly the beautiful view from Oak Grove – looking east (taken today):

5/13/2014 – Lower Burnt Granite Trail

Date of Hike: 5/13/2014
Location of Hike: Lower Burnt Granite Trail
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Don and Murphy
Start Time: 10:00 AM  End Time: 2:15 PM
Hike Distance: 3.5 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a trip to explore the lower section of the Burnt Granite trail – the upper section is still an official trail, however the lower section was carved up by clearcuts and abandoned years ago. It has been re-found, and most of it is in pretty amazing shape for being abandoned for so long. Even many sections of the trail that went thru clearcuts has been located! The sections that went thru the old growth are truly impressive – these old stands have some mighty large trees in them. Unfortunately I didn’t take many photos, but here is one of the photos of some of the tread – it is MUCH more apparent in person than it appears in this photo:

We headed up to the road where the “current” Burnt Granite trail takes off from – but that starts down the road a bit. The section where this crossed the road was clearcut, and so the current trail uses an old cat road to begin. In due time, maybe the original tread can be located in the clearcut and the original path restored. Who knows. (edit – the original route has been found! And restored!!) It is just cool to see this very old path. It will make a great wintertime trail – could be used to snowshoe – start at the bottom, hike up to snow, then put on showshoes to go higher.

On the way back down, we took a slight detour to the un-named creek – there is a user/game trail down to it that is flagged with blue and white flagging. A neat little creek.

On the way back home, we stopped to explore the old Memaloose trail off road 45. We didn’t go too far up the trail, but we did find some old cut logs:

And even cooler, we found an old benchmark tree!

After exploring that trail for a short ways, we headed back down and wanted to stop at fearless for a pint, but found out they are closed on Tuesdays! So, we headed over to another bar in town and had a pint there – not the same as Fearless, but still tasted good.

Both of these trails will be on my list to explore further.

9/2/2013 – Shellrock Lake, Grouse Point, Cutoff Trails and Frazier Mountain

Date of Hike: 9/2/2013
Location of Hike: Shellrock Lake, Cutoff Trail (between Shellrock Lake and Cache Meadow), East end of Grouse Point Trail and finally, Frazier Mountain
Weather during Hike: Partly Cloudy
Hiking Buddies: Don
Start Time: 10:25 AM  End Time: 3:35 PM
Hike Distance: 7.3 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
The goal for this hike was to capture a track for the Shellrock Lake trail, and to capture the east end of the Grouse Point trail (that is a LONG trail!) for inclusion on the trailadvocate website. In addition, I had heard rumor that there was a telephone box on top of Frazier Mountain – I wanted to see if it was still there. I had also been informed of an old “cutoff” trail that went between Cache Meadow and the Shellrock Lake trail which I wanted to explore a bit. So, a bit of a mismash of objectives.

Since Don knew the cutoff trail location, and he also wanted to go up on Frazier Mountain, he came with me. We started at the Shellrock Lake trailhead parking lot about 10:30 under sunny skies. Shellrock lake starts through a clearcut, and it pretty open and hot, but thankfully, it wasn’t too warm this day. Almost immediately after entering the forest from the clearcut, there are 2 posts on the side of the trail (wonder what they used to say?). This was our clue to head uphill to find the cutoff trail. You only have to head uphill 100 yards or so and you’ll see blazes and the trail. It is in pretty good shape – amazing shape actually, for a trail that is no longer used. We made our way up this trail until we came to the first “excitement” of the day – a nest of wasps/hornets/yellow jackets that had been dug up next to the trail (just like the hike from 2 days ago where I got stung 3 or 4 times). I tried REALLY hard to be careful around it, but I ended up getting stung on my left hand anyway. STUPID BEES! Don gave me some Benadryl which helped a bit.

The trail starts getting a little sketchy towards the bottom of the hill, but following blazes helped us stay the course. Once it gets to the bottom where it starts getting wet, we kind of lost it for a bit, but quickly located some more blazes and then it was easy to follow to the point where it meets the Grouse Point trail near Cache Meadow. We headed west on the Cache Meadow trail until we got to the site of the old cabin there:

We walked a little farther east, to the point where the Cache Meadow trail intersects, and then turned around. We got a good view of Cache Meadow “proper”:

And found an interesting sign that had been eaten by a tree (not exactly sure what it said):

And another sign that looked like a woodpecker attacked it:

Once we got done looking around Cache Meadow, we turned around and started heading east up the Grouse Point trail. Up the hill….to the first rockslide of the day:

And finally to the end of the old Frazier road, which is now trail:

The road continued southwest from where the trail meets it, however we did not explore that section. We had other things to explore this day. We proceeded up the old road, which was really nice walking – to the next rockslide:

On a clear day, it would have an AWESOME view of Mt Hood, but on this day, it was hiding in the clouds. Here is what the old road looked like through the rockslide:

We continued up the road until we got to Frazier Turnaround. Another old trail that interested me was the old South Fork Roaring River (511) trail. Supposedly there was a junction off the Serene Lake trail not too far from the beginning. Don had seen it quite a few years ago, and we headed up to see if we could find it. We didn’t go too far, but couldn’t find the old junction – a quest for another day. We stopped to eat lunch at Frazier Turnaround and then headed back down the Grouse Point trail (east) to a jump off point to make our way up to the top of Frazier Mountain. Our plan was just to walk the ridge from the road up to the top of Frazier Mountain. We did, and it wasn’t long before we found an old trail!

The trail is pretty overgrown, but we guessed this must have been the route before the road was built. Once up on top, we got some great views:

And found evidence of the old phone box and phone line:

One more interesting thing – Don had seen from one of the old lookout photos (from the 30’s) a very clear “line” across a rockslide above the South Fork Roaring River – it certainly looked like a very clear trail. Since we were up at a similar vantage point, we decided to see if we could see the same “line”. The view was a little more obscured due to the trees being much larger, but we did see a very clear “line” on the rockslide:

This anomaly really needs to be investigated. That trail heading up the South Fork would be AWESOME if it could be located. This visual clue certainly looks like a trail, however it will be need to be investigated up close to determine exactly what this “line” is. Maybe it is the first hard evidence that the 511 actually exists?

Once we enjoyed the view from the top, we followed some blazes west until we hit the flat area west of the summit of Frazier Mountain at which point we lost the trail – so we just headed south to go back to the Grouse Point trail. Once on the trail, we headed back to the junction with the Shellrock Lake trail and headed down the 700 trail until we got to Shellrock Lake:

We took in the views of the lake (and the MANY campsites surrounding it) and continued back towards the beginning of our journey.

We got back to the parking lot around 3:30 – a day well used and lots of new things found and as usual, more items to explore another day.

A short stop at Fearless in Estacads for a beer made a great ending to the day.

11/10/2012 – Weather Station exploration and Oak Grove Butte Area

Date of Hike: 11/10/2012
Location of Hike: Weather Station exploration and Oak Grove Butte Area
Hiking Buddies: Kirk and Don
Start Time: 9:15 AM  End Time: 4:15 PM
Hike Distance: 5 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:

This was an end of the higher elevation year hike to try and find a couple of weather stations as well as hike to the top of Oak Grove Butte and also hike an old abandoned trail that was recently found. The goal for the day was just to have fun and hopefully stay out of the snow. I think those goals were achieved!

First off was trying to find the Peavine Ridge Snotel site. I had rough coordinates for it, but wasn’t sure exactly where it was. We drove up the road as far as possible, until it got too rough (even with a 4WD and high ground clearance) and narrow. From there, we continued walking up the road until we found what looked like an old skid road to the south. We followed this “road” which led us directly to the snotel site. It was interesting to see in person.

It had obvious old and new equipment – the “pillows” on the ground that measured snow depth were interesting to see (although we were careful not to get too near them). After looking around for a bit, we headed back out. Right after the site on the “road” we happened to notice a couple of signs:

OOPS!! In our defense, we were very careful around the equipment….

After going back to the truck, we headed to the other weather station site, which was nearby. It is called the “Red Box” site. Not sure why – none of the equipment there was red:

We spent a little while looking around there, and then went back to the truck. The next two destinations were to the top of Oak Grove Butte (where there used to be a lookout long ago), and an old abandoned trail. We decided to go to the top of Oak Grove Butte first, but on the way, Don showed us an old 4 way trail junction:

It was interesting to see the blazes on the tress going through the woods in 4 directions. After exploring in that area a bit, and talking with a hunter who showed us a big fresh bear track, we headed to Oak Grove Butte. There is a road almost to the top, but that last part is pretty iffy – more of a jeep road than anything. We parked downhill a ways and walked up to the top:

And to the old lookout site, which now has some antennas on it:

We then went down to the “reflector” (not sure what else to call it) that is on the hillside. I think it is actually what is called a “Passive Repeater” wikipedia.

We took a look at it and then Don showed us the remains of the old outhouse for the lookout:

After looking around for a while, we headed back to the truck for our final destination of the day – the old “Oak Grove Butte” trail. On the way down, Don also showed us an old phone line insulator that still had the phone line in it!:

Interesting thing was that the phone line had ice all over it. It is amazing it is still hanging after all these years.

We headed back to the truck and then to the beginning of the trail. It starts at the end of an old spur road – it starts on a decommissioned section, then a normal spur road, and finally devolving into a treed nightmare for a bit before eventually opening up onto the actual trail (It appears the road was built right over the trail). We spent quite a big of time working on brushing out the trail (past the old road portion). It started snowing partway through, but never got very hard. It was an interesting trail, and it had a couple of really nice viewpoints – my favorite was this shot of Burnt Granite and Granite Peaks:

We got to the other end, which is near an old clearcut and a small, swampy lake. We attempted to find the trail from the ridge, but were unable to find anything definitive. After a bit of searching, we turned around and headed back to the truck. A little more cleanup on the way out, and we were back at the truck shortly before it got dark. We headed back and had our normal ritual of stopping at Fearless Brewing in Estacada for a beer and some dinner.
A great day with some great friends exploring some great country!

2/4/2012 – Upper Gipper Trail

Date of Hike: 2/4/12012
Location of Hike: Upper Gipper Trail
Weather during Hike: Sunny but windy in the morning
Hiking Buddies: Don and Kirk
Start Time: 9:00 AM  End Time: 3:00 PM
Hike Distance: 7 Miles (not including the Hillockburn lookout exploration)  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This trip was an extension of a hike a few weeks ago. On that hike, we hiked down a previously found trail over the hill and down to the Clackamas river near where the old Oregon City water works buildings were. On that trip, we found a new segment of trail that we believe eventually went up to an old church camp up near Hillockburn. This trip was intended to try and find more of that trail, and maybe try and locate remnants of the old camp (even though we didn’t know exactly where it or the old cabin were located). We didn’t have too much luck locating the old cabin, but we did find the Hillockburn spring, which was most definitely used by someone. There were two pools, and upper and a lower pool. The upper pool had what looked like a concrete dam down the the middle of it with a spillway and the other 3 sides had concrete walls as well. Was this what they used for drinking water while the rest was used for swimming?

A little below the spring, Don found some old remnants – an old pail, some flashing, old glass and what looked like springs from an old (model A?) car.

We didn’t see too much in the way of remnants of a camp or cabin, but something was obviously there, and it would have made a good place for one.

We tried to find more tread coming up the hill, but we weren’t too successful. We started up top and then spread out down the hill, looking for what might be tread. We didn’t really find any, and decided to kind of cross hill south until we hit the road. On the way, we found what appeared to be more tread, in reasonably good shape. This really deserves more exploration to find out where the real trail went….

All in all it was an interesting day. Not quite what I was hoping, but it was really neat to find the spring and all the remnants there. The views from the top of the road at the clearcut allowed us to see parts of 4 mountains! (St Helens, Adams, Rainier and Hood). The start of the day started out REALLY windy, but that died down pretty soon, and most of the day we were in the big trees so we were protected from it.
After we completed the exploratory hike we decided to go up and try and find the location of the old Hillockburn lookout. We found what we think was the old location, however it has been all trenched up (to stop the off roaders from ripping up the area). We also went on a little journey to find the section corner. We eventually found it, but it was WAY downhill from the road.

A stop on the way home at Fearless with some good food and conversation made for a great end to a great day. A good day in the woods.

1/14/2012 – Gipper Trail

Date of Hike: 1/14/2012
Location of Hike: The old "Gipper" Trail - from the Clackamas River up to an old camp site
Weather during Hike: Overcast with rain late in the day
Hiking Buddies: Don, Kirk and Murphy (the dog)
Start Time: 8:15 AM  End Time: 2:00 PM
Hike Distance: 7 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
After my unfortunate incident at Fish Creek a few weeks ago, I wanted to do something different on this day. One trail that I had been up part of was the old “Gipper” trail – it goes from the Clackamas river, from the old water pipe trail up to a junction and eventually led to a camp. I had been up the very bottom section of this trail, but wanted to explore the upper regions of the trail – it sounded interesting, and was definitely different. This is long abandoned trail that has recently been re-discovered and had some work done on it to recover it. Some sections of it are in very good shape, some are in very poor shape, and some places there is a lot of blowdown, but it is a very interesting route that has a few good views on it.

Since there was supposed to be a “snow event” that day, we decided to get an early start on things, hoping to beat the weather that was supposed to come in. On the way to the road (our starting point), we got a little bit of rain, but that was it. Almost the rest of the day, we didn’t have any rain to speak of, and the underbrush was dry.
We started off down a road that led through to a BLM land, a clearcut and then to USFS land, passing an old research area that was fenced off – except for the corner where the gate used to be…..You could walk in the research area if you wanted to. Not sure what they were researching, but it looked rather messy and overgrown. We continued down the old road to the end, and then went cross country through a grove of alders – this was an old clearcut that didn’t appear to have been replanted – the alders seemed to be natural volunteers. Once through the alder grove, we worked our way south to an old 4 way junction of trails. Although the trails were readily apparent, you could still see the sign on the trees. The sign was in excellent condition, considering how old it must have been. Don was leading, and knew the trail down to the river, but we found a side trail that we think eventually led up to the old camp. We followed this trail as far as we could, locating quite a bit of REALLY good tread, with only a few rough spots. We followed it up to another old clearcut, where you could still see the tread, but it was VERY overgrown – we decided to stop locating trail at that point – but, we located probably 6 or 7 tenths of a mile of the old trail. Very Cool!

After finding all that tread, we headed back the way we came, back to the old junction. We then took the trail down to the river – most of this trail is in pretty good shape. There are a few rough spots going down the hill, but, surprisingly enough, going back up was almost easier than coming down! We made our way down to the junction with the pipeline trail and had lunch. We then proceeded back uphill, doing some trail maintenance along the way. I ended up breaking the jaw on my compact loppers, so we didn’t get quite a much done as I would have liked, but we still did a fair amount. Lopping off branches, clearing the trail, kicking off rocks and cutting some of the smaller branches – we left the trail in better shape than we found it.

After the 4 way junction, we took a slightly different way back – we walked along the boundary line – the boundary between BLM and FS land. Many of the trees were marked (some with an X chopped into them, some with a plate). We found the section corner marker in the ground! It was interesting to find all this old history.
The hike back to the truck was mostly uneventful, however we were racing to get back before the big rain/snow event hit. When we got to the clearcut, it was starting to rain, and it got heavier, although most of the time we were in the trees. It started raining pretty heavily just before we got to the vehicles, and shortly after we started driving out, we got rain, snow, sleet all mixed together. We timed the hike pretty well! A stop at Fearless Brewing in Estacada for a Strong Scotch Ale and some fries made a great end to a great day.

9/24/2011 – Rho Ridge Complete – 564

Date of Hike: 9/24/2011
Location of Hike: Rho Ridge Trail
Trail Number: 564 and 564-A
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Start Time: 10:00 AM  End Time: 4:30 PM
Hike Distance: 12 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
In my ongoing quest to hike all of the trails in the Clackamas district, one on my list was the Rho ridge trail. Without doing an overnighter, hiking 22.5 miles in one day (up and back) is too much for me. Although this trail has good intermediate access at several points, I still wanted to do the whole trail in one day if possible. The next best thing is to do a shuttle hike, leaving a car at each end.

We got an early start to the day, since it would be a reasonably long day, and the days are getting shorter. We met at the ranger station at 8am and headed out. We got to the northern trailhead about 9:15 or so, dropped one vehicle and headed to the southern trailhead. We started our hike a little before 10 I think. We decided we would make the short hike up the cabin on Hawk mountain. Last time I was up there in the fall there was a wasp nest in the porch and I got stung. This time, no wasp nest. There were some more things in the cabin, and someone had posted 4 photos showing what things looked like when it was in use. It was pretty cool to see – the tower had a second temporary tower next to it- probably when they were building it. There was also another building to the side.

After visiting the cabin for a bit, we wandered back down the side trail and back onto the main Rho Ridge trail. The trip was pretty uneventful – it was a warm day but there was a slight breeze blowing. I was a little surprised that there weren’t more views, especially on the southern end of the trail. Most of the trail you are on a ridge, but hidden in the trees. The views are mostly on the northern end of the trail. We did get a really good look at the Motherlode fire from the old lookout site on Mt Lowe. Although the fire had died down over the last week or so, the warmer temperatures and wind had whipped it up again, and there was lots of smoke from the Battle Creek drainage.

The trail crosses quite a few old roads, many of them closed or decommissioned. Right at the northern trailhead we found a bounty of ripe huckleberries. We stopped and ate a few of them, but we were running a little bit late so we didn’t have time to pick any to take home – just a few for the ride home. Stopped at Fearless brewing in Estacada for the annual launch of their strong scotch ale – good stuff!

A great, but tiring day in the woods….

P.S. – I have about 8 more trails to finish before I hike all the trails. I won’t be able to finish this year – will have to wait until next year…..

2/26/2011 – Switch Creek

Date of Hike: 2/26/2011
Location of Hike: Switch Creek Trail
Weather during Hike: Overcast and cold - SNOWY
Hiking Buddies: Don and Kirk
Hike Distance: 3 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
A short hike on an abandoned trail with a couple of friends. Although it was a short hike, it was great to get out in the woods. I was surprised at how much snow there was, especially up higher. When we got on top, there were spots where it was probably 18″ or more deep! Crossing Switch Creek was a little bit of a challenge, too, since there was a lot of ice covering the rocks. I ended up walking across a log on the way back, since it wasn’t icy like the rocks were.

A trip on the way home to Fearless Brewing in Estacada for Strong Scotch ale made for the perfect end to the day.

1/1/2011 – Cripple Creek – 703

Date of Hike: 1/1/2011
Location of Hike: Cripple Creek Trail
Trail Number: 703
Weather during Hike: Overcast and cold - Sun made a few breaks in the clouds
Hiking Buddies: Kirk and Don
Start Time: 9:30 AM  End Time: 2:15 PM
Hike Distance: 5.75 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
The plan for this hike was to start the new year out right and do a new hike. Although I’ve hiked the upper section of the Cripple Creek trail, I had never hiked up this “alternate” starting point for the trail. It started down at highway 224, went up to an old camping area, across an old (broken) bridge across Cripple Creek,

then down and old Railroad grade and eventually up to the “official” trailhead for this trail.

The new route was VERY easy to find, and was interesting to see more history of the area, even though you couldn’t see any of the historical artifacts (other than the railroad grade).

Once on the regular trail, I was surprised at how much snow was down low, but even more surprised at how little snow was up higher. We ended up getting up the trail to almost 3000′ before we decided to turn back, with the snow being about a foot deep. It was fluffy, light snow so even in the places on the trail it was 3-6″ thick, it wasn’t too hard to walk in. Where it got to be a foot deep, the upper layer was the fluffy stuff, and the stuff lower was crunchy, which made you post hole.

The weather wasn’t as clear as I had thought it would be, but it was still nice. Rather cool, being probably below freezing when we started, and warming up a bit to a little above freezing by the time we left. The hike was a constant struggle to keep warm, and then not get too warm. Some nice viewpoints along the way, along with good company, good weather and beautiful snow in the forest made for a great day in the woods and a great way to start 2011.

10/3/2010 – Burnt Granite – 595

Date of Hike: 10/3/2010
Location of Hike: Burnt Granite Trail
Trail Number: 595
Weather during Hike: Cloudy, foggy and cool
Hiking Buddies: Don and Kirk
Start Time: 12:30 PM  End Time: 5:30 PM
Hike Distance: 8.5 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a hike to the restored Burnt Granite Trail, which goes around the east side of Burnt Granite. This area burned extensively in the 1930’s or so and is very rocky. The area had lots of rhodies! From reports, it is a popular cougar spot as well, since they seem to like the cover the rhodies provide. We didn’t see any cougars on our trip, however. The weather was cool, and a little foggy-actually a lot foggy at times, but still a good day. When we were at Tarzan Springs, there was a point we couldn’t even see across the meadow due to the fog! Due to the fog, we didn’t get to see any views from the top, but it is an interesting trail once you get up on top.

The beginning of the hike starts up an old cat/spur road and is rather steep, but then the grade levels out a bit. The lower section wasn’t too interesting, just some scrubby pine and lots and lots of rhodies. After you get to the mountain, you encounter a couple of big rock slides, which I’m guessing would yield some spectacular views on a better day, but we couldn’t see much. We hiked out to the other side where the trail pretty much disappears in an old clearcut (we didn’t take it down to the other end) and turned around. We hiked cross country up to the peak of Burnt Granite, looking for the location of the old lookout. All we found was some old phone line that looked like it was used as a guy wire for the pole and a place where a pole was for the old phone line.

Nothing that looked like a foundation or anything, but I don’t think we actually found where the actual lookout was.

After trying to find the lookout, we came back down and took the side trail to Tarzan Springs. I guess this is considered the beginning of the Tumble Creek trail. It went down to a road, which we walked a bit to find Tarzan Springs/Meadow.

I wonder why they called it Tarzan Springs? Not a whole lot to see there, but was interesting to see nonetheless. An interesting day, but one that requires a do over on a better/clearer day.

9/18/2010 – Signal Buttes

Date of Hike: 9/18/2010
Location of Hike: Cougar Creek Trail over to Signal Buttes
Weather during Hike: Rainy and windy on the buttes
Hiking Buddies: Kirk and Don
Start Time: 11:30 AM  End Time: 2:30 PM
Hike Distance: 3.5 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a very short, very wet hike down a very short section of the Cougar Creek trail and then bushwhacking over to Signal Buttes. It was a very rainy day, but even with the rain, we were able to have a decent view from the top of the Buttes. There was also some very interesting rock formations between the buttes that we investigated. One of the most interesting things I found was how deceiving the distances were. The rock formations didn’t look that big, or that far away, but it took us quite a while to get down the butte and out to them. They had these interesting rock formations – Kirk decided to climb one of them:

They were considerably larger than we had expected. All in all a great day, even though we got wet.

We finished up the day by visiting Fearless Brewing in Estacada for the fall release of their “Strong Scotch Ale”.

7/19/2010 – Plaza Trail – 783

Date of Hike: 7/19/2010
Location of Hike: Plaza Trail - Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness
Trail Number: 783
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Don
Start Time: 10:15 AM  End Time: 2:30 PM
Hike Distance: 7 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a hike up the old Plaza Trail off the 4610 (Abbot) road just before the Twin Springs campground which is now all bermed off. We first stopped at the remnants of the old Plaza Guard station, which is mostly just an old fireplace and foundation for a garage now, but was interesting to see.

Farther up the trail we stopped at Sheepshead rock, which offered a beautiful view of the terrain, most of which is untouched (not a patchwork of recovering clearcuts).

In addition to the trail, we did a bit of offtrail travel to find the site of an old plane crash. It was interesting to see how little the area of the crash has recovered. Even more somber to think that quite a few people died in that crash.

The trail is pretty well graded, and was in really good shape. All in all a nice day.

2/20/2010 – South Fork Clackamas and Memaloose Creek Falls

Date of Hike: 2/20/2010
Location of Hike: South Fork of the Clackamas and up Memaloose Creek
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Don and Charles
Start Time: 10:00 AM  End Time: 2:00 PM
Hike Distance: 5 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was another trip up the South Fork of the Clackamas where the old OC Waterworks was. This time we wanted to get to the base of the falls to get a better look at them. We also did a little scouting of some other abandoned trails in the area. The scramble/bushwhack down to the base of the falls wasn’t easy, but it gave a totally different view of the falls than what you get up above.

The falls on Memaloose you can’t even see without scrambling down to the creek. It is a very interesting falls in a very interesting bowl with almost vertical walls.

The only fall we didn’t get to the base of was the big falls, because we would have to ford Memaloose creek and we weren’t prepared to do that. It was still a great day with some beautiful scenery that very few people have seen.

1/10/2010 – Oregon City Waterworks – South Fork and Memaloose Creek

Date of Hike: 1/10/2010
Location of Hike: Up the South Fork of the Clackamas River and up part of Memaloose Creek
Weather during Hike: Mostly overcast and cool
Hiking Buddies: Don
Start Time: 9:30 AM  End Time: 1:00 PM
Hike Distance: 5 miles?  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a hike I had on my list of “to dos” for quite some time. It was hiking up the South Fork of the Clackamas to explore the remains of the old Oregon City waterworks. From what I’ve been able to find out, it was decommissioned in the early 1960’s. I have not been able to find out when it was built, but for a number of years, it was the water source for the city of Oregon City. It would appear Oregon City was trying to duplicate what Portland did with Bull Run-piping in high quality water from high in the hills where it was much purer.

We crossed the South Fork near where it dumps out into the Clackamas-over a logjam which was pretty easy.

We then explored down near the river where there used to be a house of the caretaker. We found an old cable crossing point, some foundation for a small building, and even an old fire hydrant!

From there, we proceeded back up the “road” that parallels the river.

The pipeline is buried under this road and it is visible in a few places. We passed through several tunnels, saw two beautiful falls-the

higher of which has to be over 200′ tall and rivals anything you can find in the gorge. Then at the end of the trip we saw the dam and collector where the pipeline started. Back down the trail and across an old bridge just North of where Memaloose creek joins the South fork and up Memaloose creek.

Saw some more old stuff, including what looked like a settling box.

Continued up the creek, through one last tunnel and then climbed up out of the canyon to an old road and back to the car.

It was one of the best days hiking for me, since it combined two of my passions – hiking and history. It was really cool to see all the old stuff, and the waterfalls were absolutely gorgeous. I’m planning on making a return trip……