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DavidĻ
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Joined: 25 Jul 2002
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Location: The Great White North
DavidĻ
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Token Canadian
PostWed Oct 24, 2012 9:38 am 
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#1. The reality is that you can pick the weather, or you can pick the date, but you canít pick both.  I found this out the last time I had a week set aside in October, Trevor and I had to drive all the way to Utah to escape the rain.  This time I was paired with Schmidt Alti-babe and we were blessed with a perfectly sunny forecast.  However our options were severely limited by all the fires ranging throughout the Northwest.  We narrowed it down to three alternatives:
a) Glacier National Park in Montana, which is a 9-hour drive, and 80 miles away from the nearest fire.  Go to #27
b) Northern California, There were no fires south of the Pole Creek Fire in the Three Sisters Wilderness, in particular we looked at the Trinity Alps which were an 11 hour drive.  Go to #8
c) Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, with the Waterfalls 2 fire fully extinguished the closest fire was over 50 miles away, and it is only a 5 hour drive.  Go to #12

#2. You arrive at Crater Lake after darkness has fallen and the moment you hop out of the truck you are flash frozen by the unbelievably cold temperatures.  Had you checked the NOAA forecast ahead of time you would have discovered that all of Klamath County was under a severe cold warning, and you have neither the gear nor the desire to spend the night at 8000ft, retreat to lower temperatures go to #26

#3 Welcome to Detroit Lake population 262.  The state park is open, so if you need to, you can spend the night.  Nearby you have three options:
a) Hike into Jefferson Park, go to # 16
b) Go waterfall hunting along McKenzie Pass, go to #14
c) Go waterfall hunting back towards Salem, go to #17

#4 The closest KOA to Bend is now the Sisters Garden RV Park and no longer accepts tents, you are left with three choices:
a) Go to the next nearest KOA, an hour away in Culver Oregon go to #10
b) Go to Tumalo Falls State Park in Bend, go to #23
c) Give up on a hot shower and camp along the Cascades Lakes Scenic Byway Southwest of Bend, go to #7

#5. You drive over six hours to reach the Eagle Cap Wilderness, while the smoke from all the raging fires in Idaho is noticeable, you press on.  While on trail a brand new fire erupts right in the heart of the wilderness, you retreat back to the trailhead, hacking and coughing the whole way.   Go to #26

#6 The desire to be close to a gas station in Randle narrows the choices considerably and you settle on Hamilton Butte, a 5800ft peak reached by a modest 2 mile trail with only 700ft of gain.  The road to the trailhead is brutal, and hiking the trail, churned up by heavy ORV use, is like exercising in dust storm.  The views however are sweet and the company is grand.  Head back to Seattle for yet another gourmet meal before heading back home, go to #30.


#7 Along Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway you donít notice any smoke and take comfort in the fact that the Pole Creek Fire has subsided.  All the campgrounds are closed except for the one at Devilís Lake.  Itís chilly at 5446ft but not unbearable.  There is a pit toilet and at nearby Elk Lake a lodge is open which sells Gatorade, water and a few other necessities.  You decide to go on a hike the next day, you options are:
a) Climb the South Sister, 12.4 miles return, 4900ft gain, go to #21
b) Hike to Green Lakes, Carver Lakes and Chambers Lakes, 8.4 miles, 1150ft return for Green Lakes, a couple hours of off trail scrambling for the other lakes, go to #15
c) Hike to a small lake just east of Broken Top.  The trail isnít on your map, the distance and elevation gain donít seem unreasonable and fellow nwhiker Plain Old Dan went there a few weeks ago, and his photos were lovely, go to #19


#8 You drive all through the night only to discover the weather forecast has changed and now you are stuck with mostly cloudy skies and showers.  You decide to make the most of it and hike to Moss Brae Falls in Dunsmuir.  However access to the falls has been made illegal and you spend the rest of the week in jail.  Go back to #1 and try again.

#9 You arrive at Silver Falls State Park only to discover that pets are not allowed on the Trail of Ten Falls, call Jeremy to tell him about the change in plans, go to #13

#10 Itís a bit out of the way but the KOA in Culver is at an elevation of only 2000ft so you enjoy a relatively warm night, a nice hot shower and a couple Angry Orchard Ginger Ciders.  You access your options:
a) Smith Rocks State Park is close by, go to # 22
b) You can take a chance that the fire has subsided and check out Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, go to #7
c) Go back west and explore around Detroit Lake, go to #3

#11 In a couple hours you reach the first of the lakes in Jefferson Park, the fall colour is fantastic but the mountain itself is completely washed out by the mid-day sun.  After having a snack at Scout Lake you hike out and head to nearby Detroit Lake State Park for the night, go to #3 or camp near Bend #26


#12 You arrive at the Whitewater Trailhead after dark and spend the night.  The next morning after thinking it over you decide to:
a) Hike into Jefferson Park, go to #16
b) Keep on going and drive directly to Sisters Oregon direct via Santiam Pass, go to #20
c) Keep on going and drive directly to Sisters Oregon the longer but more scenic route via McKenzie Pass, go to #14

#13 You decide to meet up with Jeremy at the halfway point which turns out to be Woodland, Washington.  He announces that heís sprung for a cabin at Cougar RV Park and has all the stuff to make a gourmet meal.  After a hot shower and a sumptuous feast you sit down to discuss your options for the next day.
a) Hike to Norway Pass in the Mt. St. Helens National Monument, you canít take the dogs but its scenic and Jeremy doesnít mind waiting in the parking lot, go to #28
b) Hike a prominence peak somewhere in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest where the dogs are allowed to go.  It wonít be as scenic and the Trout Lake Fire may be an issue, but everyone will be able to participate, go to #6
c) You decide youíve had enough adventure for one trip and decide to go back home, go to #30

#14 The route over McKenzie Pass includes several roadside waterfalls including Sahalie Falls, Koosah Falls and calendar celebrity Proxy Falls,  As an added bonus there is also a Lava Castle built by the CCC during the Depression.  Continue onto #20


#15.You start hiking up Falls Creek early in the morning and enjoy the lovely cascades that accompany this trail.  Birds are singing everywhere and even a Great Horn Owl stops by and says hello.  Reach Green Lakes in a couple hours, the sun is directly over Broken Top but the reflection of the South Sister in the lake is just divine.  Enjoy a little snack but watch in dismay as the basin quickly fills with smoke. Unfortunately it wonít be possible to keep going onto Carver Lake and Chambers Lakes today.  If you want to try another hike in the area go to #7, if you want to get back to civilization go to #26


#16 You decide to hike to Jefferson Park do you:
a) Make a day hike out of it - 11 miles 1800ft, go to #11
b) Backpack to one of the lakes, go to #24
c) Extend the hike to Park Ridge, another 5 miles return and 1000ft gain, go to #18

#17 Oregon has an abundance of fabulous waterfalls, besides the ones in the Columbia River Gorge there are several along your route near I-5.  Tishaís husband Jeremy wants to meet up with you as well, where should he go?
a) Silver Falls State Park, hike the trail of ten falls, go to #9
b) Hike to Ramona Falls in the Mt. Hood Wilderness, perhaps extending the hike up to Yocum Ridge, go to #25
c) Just do a quick jaunt to a lesser-known waterfall and meet up with him in Washington, go to #29

#18 After spending the night at Russell Lake you get up early ascend Park Ridge.  The fall colour along this trail is fantastic but unfortunately itís impossible to get a line of sight that includes both the colourful foliage and the backdrop of Mt. Jefferson.  The views from the top of the ridge are grand.  Soak it all in before you hike back out.  To continue westward on your journey go to #20, to head back north go to #17


#19 Your fears about the road to this trailhead were unfounded, while it is indeed deeply rutted in places, it is manageable with your high clearance vehicle.  Not far from the trailhead you reach a junction, to the right is a trail that is not on your map, you ignore it in favour of a climbers route that forges directly ahead.  After a short grunt up to the top of a ridge you again intersect with this mysterious trail that appears to be heading exactly where you want to go.  Follow it a little ways until it enters a cleft in a terminal moraine and delivers you to a most wondrous alpine lake.  Take lots of photos.  If you want to try another hike in the area go to #7, if you want to get back to civilization go to #26


#20 Welcome to Sisters Oregon, population 2038, from here you can:
a) Drive three hours to Crater Lake National Park, go to #2
b) Drive to the Eagle Cap Wilderness, go to #5
c) Check out Smith Rocks State Park, go to #22

#21 You hike past the lovely Moraine Lake and begin the long slog up the South Sister.  Itís late in the season so itís all exposed scree, which makes progress tedious and slow.  You are huffing and puffing like mad and soon smoke from the Pole Creek Fire wafts in and it becomes difficult to breath.  Beat a hasty retreat back down the mountain well short of your goal.  If you want to try another hike in the area go to #7, if you want to get back to civilization go to #26.

#22 After taking a break at the Sisters Coffee Company and using their free WiFi to research all the alternatives you finally settle on Smith Rocks State Park.  You arrive at the park, its warm and sunny and you stretch your legs on the five-mile loop that climbs up Mystery Ridge and encircles Monkey Face, an impressive, 400ft rock pillar.  Time to find a place to camp, go to #26


#23 You drive all the way to Tumalo Falls State Park only to discover it is closed!  You think about perhaps just hiking to the waterfall but a giant chain link fences stretches right across the highway.  Your options are:
a) The nearest state park, 90 minutes away at  Detroit Lake, go to #3
b) For the KOA nearest Bend go to #4
c) Skip the hot shower and go for the free camping along Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway go to #7.

#24. You ignore the first couple of lakes in Jefferson Park and keep following the PCT for another mile until reaching Russell Lake.  Trees do not surround this lovely body of water so it has fabulous unobstructed views of the mountain.  Since Mt. Jefferson is south facing it is severely washed out during the day, but that subsides in the evening so you are able to take photos that night and again in the morning.  On the way out explore the many way trails that lead to the other five permanent lakes in the basin.  To continue westward on your journey go to #20, to head back north go to #17


#25 You arrive at the Ramona Falls trailhead only to discover piles of broken glass and sketchy looking tweakers hanging about. You call Jeremy and he says he doesnít feel up to the 14-mile hike to Yocum Ridge anyway.  Go to #13

#26 Welcome to Bend Oregon, population 170,705, and a modern city with everything except stoplights (they have roundabouts instead, a gazillion of them).  You need a place to stay the night so your options are:
a) State Park, go to #23
b) KOA, go to #4
c) Primitive camping along Cascades Lakes Scenic Byway, go to #7

#27. Unfortunately the Going to the Sun Road is closed for construction and you must drive all the way around to the East entrance, a journey of over 12 hours.  You discover much of the park is closed including, including the Ptarmigan Tunnel, bridges have all been removed and so have the safety cables.  You press on but you slip, fall and eventually drown.  Return to #1 and try again.

#28. The dogs are not allowed in the National Monument, which means Jeremy canít come along, but the 4.5 miles and 300ft of gain to Norway Pass shouldnít take too long.  With the eruption some thirty years in the past the foliage in this area is quite vibrant and the fall colour is excellent.  The view from the pass is the only one that includes both the log filled Spirit Lake and the crater of Mt. St. Helens in the same line of sight.  You are delighted to be there early in the morning as it is a south-facing vista.  If you want to try another hike in this area go to #6, if you are ready to go home, go to #30.


#29 Thanks to the genius technology of a car GPS and the comprehensive directions from waterfallsnorthwest.com you find yourself bounding down the back roads of Scott Mills Oregon in search of Abiqua Falls.  The last stretch of road is a bit sketchy but it is too steep and narrow to turn around.  After what seems like an uncomfortably long time you find the gate indicated in the instructions and with a bit of searching, a trail.  The trail is a dangerously exposed mud slick and against all common sense you stumble your way down to the bottom of the gorge and up the creek to the waterfall.  The falls themselves are glorious and the Eden like setting is even grander than it appears in photographs.  On the way back out you notice a trail on the far side of the river, complete with ropes and other safety improvements.  You discover that this is in fact the real trail, and a sign posted by Mt. Angel Abbey is just five feet away from the false trailhead you chose to descend.  Go to #13 to meet up with Jeremy.


#30 At last it is time to return home.  Hopefully your adventure has included many highlights including Proxy Falls, Monkey Face, Broken Top Lake, Green Lakes, Jefferson Park, Abiqua Falls, Norway Pass and Jeremyís gourmet dinners.


All in all it was a fabulous adventure, much of the credit goes to my hiking partner Tisha Schmidt, thanks for choosing to come along with me.

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Warning! Posts may contain traces of sarcasm.

Hiking Website: http://members.shaw.ca/karenanddavid/Index.htm
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zephyr
aka friendly hiker



Joined: 21 Jun 2009
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aka friendly hiker
PostWed Oct 24, 2012 12:46 pm 
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Awesome trip report, David and Alti-Babe.  I tried to keep up, but got a might bit confused.   dizzy.gif   Still the photos and story were terrific.  ~z
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ree
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ree
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PostWed Oct 24, 2012 3:11 pm 
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Cute gif anim and trip report! up.gif
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Magellan
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Brutally Handsome
PostWed Oct 24, 2012 3:41 pm 
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Wow. Just wow.  hockeygrin.gif  confused.gif  agree.gif  shakehead.gif
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MtnManic
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PostWed Oct 24, 2012 5:06 pm 
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All those numbers <moans> but great report.

--------------
Backpacking: limited to one pack at a time.  Cameras: limited to as many as I can carry.
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GaliWalker
Have camera will use



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
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Have camera will use
PostWed Oct 24, 2012 6:12 pm 
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Fantastic!

A bit confusing - I have to say I always found choose your own adventure books to be as well - but the idea and great execution more than made up for this. Nice photos too. up.gif

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'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
Photography: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shahiddurrani/albums
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Tazz
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PostWed Oct 24, 2012 6:35 pm 
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dizzy.gif #2   dizzy.gif#23  dizzy.gif#11  dizzy.gif #14  dizzy.gif

I got lost.

Glad you both were able to see Or.
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Snowday
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PostThu Oct 25, 2012 9:11 am 
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I like the numbers and the go tos even, but I'm a programmer.  Thanks for reminding me of my explorations from around Bend.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostThu Oct 25, 2012 7:34 pm 
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DavidĻ wrote:

Passing thru the gap in the moraine allows you into a cool area, kind of a little Shangri-La.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostThu Oct 25, 2012 7:36 pm 
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DavidĻ wrote:

This lake has gotten a lot of action on nwhikers this year.  Love that place!  Looks like you had a nice tour of Central Oregon.
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TokyoTessie
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PostThu Oct 25, 2012 8:26 pm 
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DavidĻ wrote:
#23 You drive all the way to Tumalo Falls State Park only to discover it is closed!

OMG! That is terrible news! It used to be open year round. We would camp there when we skied Mt Bachelor. Then, if the weather up at the mountain sucked, at least we could come back to camp with a growler of IPA and enjoy the rest of the day around a campfire.
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SergioNapelo
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PostThu Oct 25, 2012 9:42 pm 
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DavidĻ wrote:

That is cool!
up.gif
well, and the rest of confusing #'s too!  smile.gif

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"I will lift up my eyes to the mountains.   From where shall my help come.   My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth!" - David, King of Israel 1,000 BC
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Dayhike Mike
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PostThu Oct 25, 2012 11:14 pm 
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Great idea for a trip report! Loved reading it...

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"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke
"Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment." -Solomon Short
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Karen≤
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A Real Canadian Girl
PostFri Oct 26, 2012 12:15 pm 
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If it makes any of you feel better when I proof hiked this report I was eternally trapped in Bend.   lol.gif  With a little editing from David I was finally able to escape and hike Norway Pass and work my way back home.   hockeygrin.gif 

Certainly makes you have an appreciation for how hard it actually is to write a whole novel like the Choose Your Own Adventure series or the old Fighting Fantasy ones I loved as a kid.

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I leave only footprints...and lens caps.
http://weekendswithmarmots.zenfolio.com
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