Forum Index > Trip Reports > Pechuck Lookout, May 9th-11th, 2013
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
D. Inscho
Not bored yet...



Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 814 | TRs | Pics
Location: Bellingham,WA
D. Inscho
Not bored yet...
PostSun May 19, 2013 7:32 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
It seemed like a great time of year to find a destination not surrounded by steep soft snow.  Most of my regular destinations are still troubled with machines, long approaches, or unconsolidated winter.  Oregon’s below normal snowpack was inviting agree.gif
Pechuck Fire LO
Pechuck Fire LO
Early light
Early light

 
The idea for this place came from a much admired and fellow LO aficionado contact on Flickr.  He was gracious enough to offer important tidbits about the place. 
South face Pechuck
South face Pechuck

Pechuck is special for its stone construction and rare D-6 like design.  Here are some more details from the BLM website:
 
The present two-story cupola Pechuck Lookout structure was built in 1932 for the C-MFPA. Construction of a new lookout also began on Lookout Mountain. It was built by John Oblack, a Czechoslovakian from Molalla with help from a veteran stone mason-name unknown-from Portland. Materials for the lookout were packed in on mule to the site by Ken Engles and another person (name unknown), both from Molalla.  The stone was cut from indigenous material nearby rather than packed in.
The cupola measures 7.5' x 7.5' x 9. The entire structure stands about 16 feet tall.  The walls are of tongue and groove construction standing three feet high. Access to the cupola is by way of a ladder from inside the lower living quarters through a trap-door hole in the floor of the cupola.
Pechuck Lookout's style of stone and wood construction is highly distinctive. It is one of the few remaining lookouts of this vintage and is the only stone lookout known in northwest Oregon.

Pechuck was last staffed in 1964 by Kay Geyman of Salem.

Rustic bedroom
Rustic bedroom
From the margin
From the margin
Living area
Living area

  
Although I’ve always thought it best to hike early in the cool morning when the spider web facials are the freshest, I barely got onto the trail by noon even with a 4:30a start from Bellingham.  The 7 hour drive featured a gauntlet of commuter traffic from Seattle to Portland, capped by murderous jousts with log trucks towing long loads of dust on the local FS roads.  There was no question who ruled the narrow dirt track- yield or die eek.gif
Former Table Rock TH
Former Table Rock TH
The drive took a lot out of 'im
The drive took a lot out of 'im

 
Our quiet pedestrian affair began at Rooster Rock TH (3300’) under clear skies and strong sun.  The deep cool of the forest was welcome for the steep climb to ridgeline.  I was expecting snow and navigation challenges, but only remnant patches lingered.  I was freed to trundle the narrow soft tread and listen to warblers sing their talents redface.gif
These trees look like original equipment!
These trees look like original equipment!
BLM-type Wilderness
BLM-type Wilderness

 
The trail initially traveled BLM Wilderness then crossed to BLM land to a gated road and former TH to Table Rock Wilderness.  The road permits administrative access associated with LO maintenance.  After passing a composting toilet the stone hut soon came into view.
Composting toilet; what I'd always wanted...
Composting toilet; what I'd always wanted...

 It reminded me of a “fun size” castle sans drawbridge & moat.
Pechuck Lookout
Pechuck Lookout
"Fun size" castle
"Fun size" castle

   
 
The cool interior felt welcoming while unpacking and setting up.  I hauled one of the 4 bunks up to the cupola for a bench seat, but found the arrangement so inviting that the dog and I slept up there each night. smile.gif  
The cuplola good life
The cuplola good life
Slept up here, but bunk made for good sittin' spot as well
Slept up here, but bunk made for good sittin' spot as well
Sill and Table Rock
Sill and Table Rock

It was breezy and perfectly open to birdsong, buzzing flies, and the occasional Portland-bound turboprop.  The Molalla River murmured below.  Our sun settled orange in the west at about 8:30 as Hermit thrush song wove a stocking-cap of deep sleep for the night, very peaceful.
Lower level bunks
Lower level bunks
Like bunk beds, but a bit more at stake...
Like bunk beds, but a bit more at stake...
Cupola ladder
Cupola ladder

 
Friday morning was a spell of cool still air, warm sun, and lyrical birdsong.  I steeped in that moment snug within the sleeping bag for as long as my bladder would allow, then it was down the ladder to the spring for coffee water.  Sunrise around 6. cool.gif
Deep cool spring
Deep cool spring
Bodhran on deck
Bodhran on deck

 
Despite trees buggering many of the views, it was a great spot to enjoy vibrant bird life and song.  I saw my first Townsend’s Warbler on Friday.  There was a slight view toward Mt. Jefferson when one leaned out of the north cupola window. 
Peek-a-boo Mt. Jefferson
Peek-a-boo Mt. Jefferson
Trillium with a bit of magenta
Trillium with a bit of magenta

 
The spring was a beauty: circularly rimmed by wooden slats (an old barrel?), abundant cool flow, and about a foot deep.  It was welcome refreshment on days that neared 80 degrees.  It is located about ¼ mile and 250 feet  below the east side.
Cool floor on a hot day
Cool floor on a hot day
I liked the cupola better (he hated being carried up the ladder)
I liked the cupola better (he hated being carried up the ladder)

 
 
Some wood rat and mice activity overnight made sleep a bit spotty, but Bodhran found a couple of nests behind the cupola walls and tore them up.  He’s a good mouser. 
Bodhran "mousing"
Bodhran "mousing"

I cleaned out what material I could reach the next day.  It was a bit quieter the second night.
Pechuck at the gloaming
Pechuck at the gloaming

 
 
There were only 3 visitors on Friday, and one of them was Terry Musgrove, my Flickr contact!  He decided to pay a visit from nearby Oregon City where he lives. up.gif  
Terry with Yogi & Hoppa
Terry with Yogi & Hoppa

He also thoughtfully brought extra water and citrus.  It was really great meeting him and exchanging experiences.

Pechuck Lookout from David Inscho on Vimeo.
 
High cloud rolled in that afternoon muddying the sunset.  The second night cleared at about 3a just in time for me to capture a coveted moonless shot of the lookout with Scorpius and our galaxy to the south.
Pechuck, Scorpius, and our galaxy
1 label
Pechuck, Scorpius, and our galaxy

  Very fortunate, not only the brief clearing, but awakening at the right moment!  Most everything came together for this trip.

--------------
http://david-inscho.smugmug.com/

...not till we are lost in other words, not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations.  --HD Thoreau
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 13042 | TRs | Pics
Location: Inexorable descent
Magellan
Brutally Handsome
PostSun May 19, 2013 8:40 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Lovely!  up.gif  I don't know if all your trips are great, or if you only post the really good ones... Either way, thanks for writing it up.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Hiker Mama
Member
Member


Joined: 25 Jun 2006
Posts: 3187 | TRs | Pics
Location: Lynnwood
Hiker Mama
Member
PostSun May 19, 2013 10:08 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Yay, more lookout photos!  Wonderful.  I really need to get up to a lookout this year.  up.gif

--------------
My hiking w/ kids site: www.thehikermama.com
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
tmatlack
Member
Member


Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 2630 | TRs | Pics

tmatlack
Member
PostMon May 20, 2013 2:30 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Great photos: cute lookout, cute pups, great views.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
lookout bob
WTA proponent.....



Joined: 12 Apr 2005
Posts: 2517 | TRs | Pics
Location: wta work while in between lookouts
lookout bob
WTA proponent.....
PostMon May 20, 2013 8:08 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
what a fascinating lookout!  I especially like how the windows drop into the frame of the building.  Thanks for a cool report!!!! up.gif  cool.gif

--------------
"Altitude is its own reward"
John Jerome ( from "On Mountains")
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
brewermd
Member
Member


Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 26 | TRs | Pics

brewermd
Member
PostMon May 20, 2013 8:35 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Is it almost time to head up to Winchester?
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
D. Inscho
Not bored yet...



Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 814 | TRs | Pics
Location: Bellingham,WA
D. Inscho
Not bored yet...
PostTue May 21, 2013 5:57 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Thanks Magellan, I think the destinations easily speak for themselves... inspiring!

Glad you were inspired Hiker Mama.  Lookouts need love; be sure to bring some.

tmatlack- Terry's pumis were cute as hell, and of course no trip is complete without my furry hiking partner.

LO bob- Pechuck is wonderfully unusual; I also loved the stone work.  Unfortunately carpenter ants are going to be the undoing of the upper structure.  I could hear them munching away in the vertical supports and witnessed the winged spring hatch take flight on Friday frown.gif

--------------
http://david-inscho.smugmug.com/

...not till we are lost in other words, not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations.  --HD Thoreau
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Trip Reports > Pechuck Lookout, May 9th-11th, 2013
  Happy Birthday Hiker Mama, ReubenD!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy