Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’

Notes on Benson Lake, and 2011 snow conditions in Oregon

July 16, 2011

North and Middle Sister, moonrise

I just returned from a quick overnight hike to Benson Lake in the Mount Washington wilderness (see hike #46).  As of July 15 2011, the snowline is at about ~5000 feet, but the melt is very uneven.  Many south-facing slopes are snowfree, especially above tree line.  The bald southern face of Scott Mountain (6100′) is entirely melted.  Black Crater (7251′) and Belknap Crater (6872′) appear to have snowfree hiking routes above treeline, but I suspect their approach hikes are snowbound.  North facing slopes and deeply shaded forest areas have four-foot drifts all the way down to Highway 242 (at about 5000′).

The Benson Lake trailhead (-5000′) remains unreachable by car.  Instead, I parked about 1/2 mile down Scott Road.  I found the trail to Benson Lake (5200′) about 80% snowbound, but I was able to follow good boot prints from early-season day-hikers.  Benson lake basin was mostly snow-free; I found a dry campspot with a view and built a fire.  Silent lightning flashed for hours in the southern sky , and later, rain clouds consumed me, Benson Lake, and the entire wilderness.

fire (2 of 3)

Check-out more photos on Flickr.

William Sullivan slideshow

April 16, 2011

Jefferson Park, September 2009

Today I saw a captivating slideshow by William Sullivan, based on his book “Oregon Favorites”.  (Sullivan is best known for his “100 Hikes” series of trail guides, which are really excellent.)  Sullivan has a busy year-round lecture schedule.  Today’s slideshow featured one favorite place in Oregon for each month of the year, with an emphasis on places that are rarely visited.  Here is the list. . .

MarchThe Mulino Flour Mill is not a wilderness hike, but the water-powered flour mill still functions and is interesting the visit.

April – The Badlands loop, in the Oregon Badlands Wilderness near Bend, OR

May –  Cape Horn in the Columbia River Gorge

June – The Scout Camp Trail, near Crooked River Ranch, OR

July – Visit the Wallowa Mountains, near Joseph, OR.  Avoid the crowded trails, and visit McCully Basin.

August – Pinnacle Ridge on the NE side of Mount Hood.

September – Jefferson Park

October – Sisters Rocks, on the Oregon coast between Port Orford and Gold Beach

November – Eight Dollar Mountain along the Illinois River.

December – rent a fire lookout tower.  Sullivan recommends Warner Mountain.

January – visit Fort Hoskins Historic Park

February – ski around Broken Top, using the pass/notch near Iceberg Lake

notes on South Sister circumnavigation

August 9, 2009

This weekend, I circumnavigated the South Sister with L.L. and E.F.  You can view my Flickr media (click here).

Our route combined a mix of trails and cross-country travel, and roughly followed the path shown on the Traditional Mountaineering website.  In summary, we started at the Devil’s Lake trailhead and hiked across the Wikiup Plain to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).  We traveled north on the PCT until Separation Creek; from here, we trekked cross-country upstream to the ridge connecting South Sister and Middle Sister.  We traversed over the moraines surrounding Chambers Lakes, and descended on a rough climbers trail to Camp Lake.  We bivvy-camped on a ridge above Camp Lake.  In the morning, we traversed cross-country along the east shoulders of South Sister and joined the trail north of Green Lakes.  After a short break at Green Lakes, we followed the trail to the Green Lakes trailhead and then walked along the road to return to our car  at the Devil’s Lake trailead.

Overall, the route was straightforward.  The cross-country section south of Camp Lake provided some (fun) navigational challenges, but I don’t think it was particularly dangerous.  Here is a map (linked from the Traditional Mountaineering website):

2009 Whiteaker Block Party ’twas awesome

August 1, 2009

I just returned from the third annual Whiteaker Block Party; I’m glowing from the happiness of the crowd, and my legs are sore from dancing nonstop for hours.  You can check-out my Flickr media by clicking here.

Volcanos, glaciers, and beaches

May 25, 2009

Yesterday we enjoyed a long tour around Oregon and Washington; we hiked to Spirit Lake beneath Mount Saint Helens, and then drove to Cannon Beach to watch sunset.

You can check-out my Flickr set here.

Sounds from the Eugene Saturday Market

April 5, 2009
(Photo credit to Koocheekoo on Flickr)

(Photo credit to Koocheekoo on Flickr)

Today was the first Saturday Market of the year.  The weather was perfect and the attendance was massive.  I strolled around the market with my Edirol R-09 and captured (in my humble opinion) a very unique Eugene soundscape.  Click below to listen.

“Sounds from the Eugene Saturday Market, April 4th 2009″ (MP3 27 MB, 11:14)

notes on Henline Falls

March 15, 2009

This weekend, I took a short trip to Henline Falls (hike #5 in William Sullivan’s “100 Hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades”). The hike itself is super short (less than a mile); the real attractions are Henline Falls (over 100 feet tall) and the abandoned Henline mine. The mine is safe for exploration; we ventured inside about a 1/4 mile before turning around. You can view my Flickr media here.

Here are obscure notes for the future:

  • The driving directions in Sullivan’s book are slightly confusing.  After driving 15 miles on Little North Fork Road, you’ll see a spur road on the left (tip: it forms a T-intersection with Little North Fork Road).  DON’T TAKE THIS SPUR ROAD.  Instead, keep driving forward.  The junction for road 2209 is further ahead; it’s a well-marked Y-intersection.
  • Sullivan is correct when he says the entrance to the mine is “just to the right of the waterfall’s misty base.”  In fact, you can’t see the mine entrance until you’re practically next to the waterfall.
  • The mine seems to be safe for exploring, albeit a little spooky.  Headlamps are a necessity!

Porlolo @ Stonehenge

October 23, 2008

Erin invited Jon (on violin) and me (on keys) to play a set with her at Stonehenge, in Eugene OR.  Later on, we heard sets from Desolation Wilderness and Lake.  Erin convinced the drummer from D.L. and the horn section from Lake to join us on a few songs.  It was awesome fun, and you can check-out some (rather abstract) photos by clicking on the photo below here:


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