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Two Stars

6/22/2018 – Bull of the Woods Trail – 550

Date of Hike: 6/22/2018
Location of Hike: Bull of the Woods Trail
Trail Number: 550
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Thor
Start Time: 11:15 AM  End Time: 3:00 PM
Hike Distance: 6.7 miles  
Pictures: Link
Today’s hike was a bit of a spur of the moment. I decided on Thursday to take Friday off work and head out on a hike (so I could do stuff around the house over the weekend, but still get in a hike). I had wanted to go explore the old water source for the Bull of the Woods lookout after seeing references in a “What it was like to man a lookout” document.

I was hoping it would be quiet since it was during the week, however it was not to be. It wasn’t too busy – I met 7 people on the trail – 5 backpackers and 2 hikers.

We headed out a bit later than normal – I slept in a bit and got a few other things done before we left. We got to the trailhead a little after 11:00 – it is a long drive. There was one car in the parking lot when we got there. We got ready and headed down the trail. The beginning of the trail almost looked like someone had taken a weed wacker to both edges of it. It was kind of weird. Nicely groomed, but weird for a trail. A short ways up the trail, we encountered this log that had been cut out recently. The odd part was that it had been cut with a chainsaw, which is supposed to be illegal in the wilderness:

Then there was this log, that was not 50 feet from it that they didn’t cut. I think technically both logs were in the wilderness, but maybe the wilderness sign on this log scared them from cutting it:

We continued down the trail until we got to Terrace Spring – I’m not sure I ever noticed this before – not a terribly active spring, but it did have some water flowing:

We continued down the trail and soon got near the objective for the day – the water source for the lookout. I had two different descriptions of where it was – one from one of the old “trail notes” that I had found at the ranger station, and one from a posting on trailadvocate.org. I had created a waypoint for the point from the trail notes, and printed out the description from the posting. Both were exactly as described. 0.1 miles from the section line crossing and in a small saddle right before the last push up to the lookout – a small trail to the left that went downhill (steeply) to an old cave:

It wasn’t much to look at, and I didn’t really see any water in there, but based on the notes, I’m not sure it had a spring – it sounded like it “collected” water – they had dug it out. It was all filled in. A little bonus was finding some old phone wire next to the cave – it was going up/downhill (east/west):

I had tried to find insulators on the trail – the old maps show it having a phone line, but either the trail has been re-routed, or the phone line didn’t follow the trail.

We went back up to the trail and met a group of three backpackers heading up to the lookout. Very quickly we were at the lookout and we sat down and had some lunch. I talked a bit with them and they were going to head east but they weren’t sure where they were going to spend the night.

The views were pretty good, although some of the mountains were hiding in the clouds. Here is Jefferson and Olallie Butte – with Jefferson hiding in the clouds:

And of course, no trip report to the lookout would be complete without a picture of the lookout:

It is weathering OK, but every time I come up here it seems to be in a little worse shape. It does look like someone might have painted the east side of the lookout though. It is a shame that the Forest Service is OK with just letting it rot in place rather than preserve such an important piece of history – wilderness area or not.

Thor was getting really hot in the sun, so he laid under the lookout for a while. It was amazing how much of a temperature difference there was in the shade and in the sun. We stayed up there for a while, enjoying the view. We then headed back down – we met two more backpackers just below the lookout – they were headed on a big loop down to Elk Lake Creek.

We continued down the trail, making really good time (since it was mostly all downhill). I had thought about heading up to the top of one of the Dickey Peaks, but Thor was pretty tired and it looked rather brushy, so I decided to leave that for another day.

On the way up we found a few snow patches, and Thor played in them a bit, but on the way back we headed over to the small meadow/swamp near the start of the trail and Thor played on this rather large snowbank that was a couple feet deep still:

It was a rather short day in the woods, but a really nice one.

3/22/2014 – North Fork Clackamas River – Fisherman Trail

Date of Hike: 3/22/2014
Location of Hike: North Fork Clackamas River - Fisherman Trail
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Zack
Start Time: 11:15 AM  End Time: 3:15 PM
Hike Distance: 4.7 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
Originally, this was going to be a hike up to Cold Springs to start the year. I had gotten up there one week prior with little difficulty (most of the roads were free of snow, with the exception of a few spots). Due to the 6″ or so of snow that had fallen earlier this week, we were unable to make it all the way to the trail. I forgot to get a photo of where we turned around, unfortunately. So we came back and had to figure out another place to go. We decided to try the trail up the North Fork of the Clackamas. It heads up the NW side of the North Fork of the Clackamas at a side pool on the reservoir. The beginning of it is pretty good, with just intermittent blow down, but you can tell that many people walk this old road.

It was a beautiful day – probably close to 60 degrees and sunny. The beginning of the walk climbs, but you hear the sound of the river for a ways – you then veer away from the river and keep climbing quite a bit above it. A little later, you come back down to the river – it is about here where the old road kind of disintegrates and gets tougher to follow. I think it was about this point where we came upon a small herd of elk. We scared them and they ran off, but it was pretty cool to see. The trees in this area are relatively large and it is a very pleasant area. Here is a photo of one of the tracks:

We continued following the increasingly difficult road, coming to a large old washout which was rather difficult to get around. We had a hard time figuring out exactly where the road went. We finally found bits and piece and made it up to an old spur road. We stopped for lunch and saw a logging operation on the hill across the way. We ate and then decided to head up this old spur to see how much farther we could go. A little ways up the spur we came across what looked like an old marijuana grow operation. Abandoned camping gear, fertilizer bottles and trash. It was very odd because they camped right on the old road, and there was active logging nearby. Maybe they did this before that area was logged. Anyway, we kept going up the road until the road stopped at a removed/collapsed bridge across Fall creek. The creek was running pretty fast and deep and we really didn’t want to cross it, so we turned around and headed back. We took a slightly different track back, hoping to avoid some of the blackberries we encountered on the way in. A photo of the removed/collapsed bridge:

It was a nice day in the woods. I really enjoyed hiking with Zack, although it wasn’t as good of a day as it would have been if we had been able to get to our original goal. Still, any day spent in the woods is better than a day anywhere else!

7/28/2012 – North PCT trail – Timothy Lake

Date of Hike: 7/28/2012
Location of Hike: Pacific Crest Trail
Trail Number: 2000
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 10:30 AM  End Time: 2:45 PM
Hike Distance: 11 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This hike was intended to put me one step further towards my goal of hiking all the trails in the Clackamas district. I had a hard time deciphering exactly where the Clackamas district ends and the Zigzag district ends, so I decided just to hike north on the PCT where it comes back into district near Clackamas Lake. I hiked up about 5 miles from where the reservation border is.

I typically like lesser travelled trails mostly because I prefer the solitude and peace. This trip was QUITE different. It is a nice trail – well maintained with some very nice scenery along the way. The day I chose however there was some sort of 50 mile “triathalon” race going on part of the PCT. They used a side trail (the “miller” trail) so I didn’t see them on the entire trip, but I did see a LOT of runners on the trip, as well as a few hikers, and a few horses.

The day started off with LOTS of traffic (based on what I’m used to) up the Clackamas. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many people there – I know this is prime season, and the weather was great. I guess I tend to hike more in the spring and fall and not during peak season as much. Things have just worked out the last several weeks where I’ve been able to hike. Once I got up to Clackamas Lake, I realized something was going on – there were cars EVERYHWERE, and I saw a “beware of runners crossing the road” on the way in. I also had to stop at the info station at Clackamas Lake to purchase a day pass – I haven’t had to have a day pass for several years now – I typically hike where they are not required (there aren’t enough people to make it worthwhile I think). So I bought my daypass and parked at the point where the PCT crosses Forest Service road 42 and headed north.

The trail is in GREAT condition, with no logs down and the tread in fine shape. Shortly after starting, you come right beside a small creek, which I later learned is the Oak Fork of the Clackamas river.

There is a great spot for nice cold water (a spring that feeds the river) just up the trail a bit and the trail pretty much follows the river until it dumps into Timothy lake. There is a neat rock slide and then a great viewpoint where you get your first glimpse of Timothy Lake.

It is a pretty large lake, and it was VERY busy, both on the lake and campers around it. The trail mostly follows the shore of the lake, occasionally drifting away for a bit, and then coming back. There is quite a bit of large timber in that area, interspersed with smaller trees. Once we got to the spot where the runners were entering the trail, we had to stop quite a few times to let runners go by. Bodie isn’t the most sociable dog, and I normally don’t take him on hikes where I think there will be many other people, but I decided to take him on this day. He did really well – maybe he acts differently when he isn’t home – maybe he doesn’t have that protective instinct like he does at home. At any rate, I kept him on the leash, and he did fine. There were just a LOT of runners to deal with.

About half way up the lake we stopped at a campsite on the shore and Bodie took the opportunity to lay down in the water to cool off. After a short break there, we continued up the trail. We kept hiking until the “finger” we were hiking next to got pretty narrow, and then looking at the mileage decided that was a pretty good turnaround point. So, back the way we came, passing runners and even a few horses! One group of horses seemed a little skiddish about us, especially Bodie, so I had to get further off the trail to let them pass. Even then, some of the horses walked off the OTHER side of the trail. They REALLY didn’t like him. The trip back to the 42 road was uneventful, however we did stop for some lunch after the point where the runners went off. The parts of the trail where the runners were running really didn’t have a lot of traffic on it. I probably saw 8-10 people and 5 horses with riders on those sections of trail.

After arriving back at the starting point, the goal was to hike south to the Warm Springs Reservation border and then back. It was a little farther than I thought – I thought it was a mile or less, and it was almost a mile and a half I think. Not too bad, but after hiking 8 miles the previous direction, we were both starting to get tired. In retrospect, I should have hiked the south end first (when it was cooler) and then done the north half. I think we would have run into fewer runners, and we wouldn’t have been quite so tired. oh well, hindsight is 20/20. It worked out OK.

This trip was pretty uneventful as well, however it was interesting to see Clackamas “Lake” – It is more of a bog/swamp than a lake – the lake (actual standing water) is a tiny corner of the lake – the rest is just grasses and bog plants.

The closer we got to the reservation, the smaller the trees, and the more sun and the warmer it became. As it became warmer, both Bodie and I got more tired. We finally got to the marker of the Reservation boundary and turned around.

The trip back to the truck seemed to take longer than the trip in, but that is just because we were ready to stop hiking for a bit.

All in all, a good (but not quiet) day in the woods. Next time maybe I’ll call ahead! 🙂

2/18/2008 – Riverside Trail – 723

Date of Hike: 2/18/2008
Location of Hike: Riverside Trail
Trail Number: 723
Weather during Hike: Sunny but cold
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Hike Distance: 5?  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a wintertime hike up the Clackamas River on the Riverside trail. I didn’t record it immediately, so I don’t have too many details on it. I remember it was a cold, clear day and there was a foot of snow on parts of the trail. It was beautiful, though!

10/23/2007 – Huxley Lake

Date of Hike: 10/23/2007
Location of Hike: Huxley Lake Trail
Trail Number: 521
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 10:30 AM  End Time: 3:00 PM
Hike Distance: 9 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was a difficult, although interesting hike. You start at Lookout Springs campground, hike about a half mile down the Corral Springs trail, there is a junction with Huxley Lake. Then you DROP down about 1000′, with most of it VERY steep. I never did find the lake on this hike, however in discussions after I got back, I found out where I went wrong. The junction at the bottom of the hill is actually the trail. I should have gone left and followed that trail, instead of going straight, which is an old road. I think I ended up coming out on road 4612, and walked down that for a while. We followed the actual trail for a bit, thinking it was the trail to the lake, however we turned around since the trail to the lake was only .2 mile, and we walked quite a bit farther than that, so figured we must be on the wrong trail. We ended up walking a lot further than we planned, but there were some very nice areas on this trail. It has been somewhat ruined by the ATVs on the trail, however. In some areas, you can’t even tell where the real trail goes, since there has been so much off trail excursions by the ATVs. This would be an interesting trail to hike again, however next time I would start from the bottom end and come up, which is a lot less vertical climb. It sounds like the best part of the trail is the lower half, anyway.

9/3/2007 – Anvil Lake

Date of Hike: 9/3/2007
Location of Hike: Anvil Lake
Trail Number: 724
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Gail and Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 12:00 PM  End Time: 2:00 PM
Hike Distance: 2.4  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
A short hike to Black Wolf Meadow and then on to Anvil Lake. An interesting hike through mostly pine and cedar, with a few fir trees thrown in. A relatively sparse forest.

Anvil Lake is quiet, small and shallow. Unfortunately, I forgot to take any pictures of it while we had lunch there! A beautiful day hiking on a very level trail.