PCT & Yoran Lake Trail – again but better

Last year, i did a shorter version of this hike, but part of Yoran Lake trail was in poor condition and I stayed on PCT – this year, the trail has been updated some, so a great hike! All in all, a 18 mile hike with 2800 ft elevation gain – it’s mostly following PCT between 6500 and 7000 ft elevation.

For most of the hike, north / northeast of this

Past Yoran Lake trail on PCT, there is a side trail / spur you take up to this rock outcropping that pokes out like a stone thumb

I hiked up most of it with 3 other guys and 2 big dogs. I got to almost the top and decided that the risk of going further was too high – it was really steep and sliding rock and scree the last 200 yards or so. The guy w/ the dogs turned around with me as it was just too much risk for the dogs – i did not want to be caught below the dogs if they slipped. The dog guy was great about looking out for his dogs and left his friends … i met him later and he had a great time w/ the dogs in the lakes.

But the view from that stone thumb was tremendous

I traveled on south on PCT and had lunch at great spot beneath this

Looking out more north

And the little lakes (or Maine Ponds) are plentiful

There were just the right number of other hikers for a holiday weekend on PCT … all in all, it was a perfect hike for the last long pass-eleveation hike of the 2019 season. I also came up with my next season inspiration (later)!

Sometimes, things are just simply beautiful

here is the All Trails recording

Mazama Caldera, aka Crater Lake

We recently visited Crater Lake National Park with good friends and one of the things I learned (and should have known) is that we’ve been using the wrong geological name all this time … it’s not a crater, it’s a caldera. (or at least that’s what the Park Ranger told us). Over 7000 years ago, Mount Mazama changed dramatically. – note: there are links to slide shows on different topics – poke around.

This adventure was different from 2 years ago due to an absence of fires and this year taking a boat ride around the lake and spending several hours on Wizard Island. One thing that hit me like a ton of bricks is the magnitude of it all (the lake is 5×6 miles) – staying up on the crater rim just does not have same impact – if you go, take a boat ride!

The lake

The water is amazingly clear … drinkable too (we all had some from the middle of lake – ranger filled everybody’s water bottle). If you doubt me, this pic is in 40 feet of water – let that sink in.

Here is a slide show with standard resolution pics of more Crater Lake water

After the water, the geology of the caldera is beyond amazing.

Here is a slide show with standard resolution pics of more some geological features.

Two of the most popular geological features are Wizard Island and the Phontom Ship; and the above pic shows the ship in forground and the island in background.

The ship

The island

While on the island, we hiked to the top – which IS a crater. Some of us hiked down into the core of the island crater – an odd feeling. A quick swim was also in order but the water was COLD! All the pics in this movie are from the island.

If you’ve read any of my adventure posts here, plants and their beauty and perservance are always interesting … Crater Lake has its share of fabulous creatures.

Another set of plant pics from the lake, the island and all around

The park is one of those amazing places on this wonderful planet … good planets are hard to find!

South Sister 2019

If you missed the earlier post – Traveling to South Sister – check it out.

My 3rd hike up this hill in the last 4 years (last year’s), and sadly, this was the least enjoyable – not the mountain, the weather, my legs, my equipment, inadquate water, nor bad pictures. There were just too many people; i have never seen this many people on a Cascades hike in over 30 years of hiking.

The destination

I took the same route as before – straight up from Devil’s Lake with a full parking lot (and i hiked up the trail 1/4 mile and realized i left my forest pass in the ‘g)love box’ … so back to the car and repeat) … some views were the same as before, but the camera found different objects

the color of this lake blows me away – every time

Sadly, with all of the people, too many missed this sign … i even saw people with a dog swimming in one of those most precious and fragile lakes like above …

Once on the summit this year, i spent my time on the southeast side of the rim … the views were quite different from last year’s north side. This year, I also hiked to top in short sleeves & shorts – last year was chilled in long sleeves and shorts (wind).

GIven all the people … i won’t go back

Traveling to South Sister

I planned my 3rd South Sisters hike in 4 years to catch the full moon setting on my way to the trailhead. Getting up in time to be on the road by 04:00 is not that tough, when you have this to look forward to seeing …

The next post will be from South Sister hike

Hiking – Scott trail to PCT to Lava Campground

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/oregon/scott-trail-to-observatory-via-pct

I completed this hike meeting a good friend who was going around the Sisters’ loop. We met at PCT and I hiked out with him to his car and then to my car at Obsedian trailhead. This is an excellent Sisters Wilderness hike – not too hard and the views from the north side are fabulous.

Starting at the Scott trail there were these weird flowers that liked like something from Dr Seuss. (note: clicking on the images will open the original high-res media file)

They grow in patches with long stems

Before reaching the PCT, the views both north and south are fabulous

Looking south to N. Sister

Toward the north, several others are viewable

At the PCT / Scott junction,

an alpine meadow with a pretty good view

As you walk toward Mckenzie pass and Lava campground the views are equally as good …

There is a wonderful small ‘lake’ … in Maine, it would be a pond.

At different points, after leaving the Scott trail junction, there are severe burn areas – some of these are like scenes out of the worst natural disaster movie … yet, there is new growth starting over too

A great way to end …

Recreational Hike: North Fork Middle Fork Willamette River

My wife and I wanted a decent length hike without too much elevation gain on this sunny Father’s Day …

For you All Trails users, here is the link to the recording https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/north-fork-middle-fork-willamette-river-trail–15

All in all, this is a good hike on a sunny day when you do not want to work too hard at going up the mountain(s). This just wanders along the north bank of the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River just west of Oakridge. There are wonderful swimming pools (we did not try them) but they do not all have decent paths from the N side; but there is a road on the south side of the fork with ample opportunities to reach a good pool.

Looking downstream about 1/2 up from the trailhead.

Early Spring Flower 2019

Early spring flowers are some of my favorites … they appear quickly and often do not last long as they are the first food for many after a long wet OR winter. All of these came from our yard or our neighbor’s.

Walking in the Neighborhood #2

I was just wandering around today camera in hand.

Am I in prison?
Coming in for a landing but I’m covered in pollen
Pretty?
Just wonderful to hang out 
We can really share – but you’re in my way
Better to have it to myself
Snack time
Ah…
Oh my

Lake Michigan September ’18

My extended family spent several days near the Lake Michigan shore this month.  It was an easy walk thru this gate to the beach below after walking through an amazing township park.

The Lake Michigan beach is wonderful and all without salt, sharks or jellyfish.

And looking west, the sunsets are usually tremendous with or without storms.

Lighthouses are plentiful and old … and there was a reason they were built

Searching for the most wonderful wave-polished stones can fill hours of tremendously peaceful hours.

South Sister Ramble

This week, I went up South Sister for the second time.  This time, I was much more prepared and thoroughly enjoyed the ramble … but was still tired by the end of the day.

On the way there, it was very cold (below 30 F), and the steam from the cascade lakes was amazing

Once up through the scrawny pine trees, the first plateau (alpine meadow) with a look down to Moraine Lake

Looking upward toward the top, here’s the path

On the second plateau, you can look back to Moraine Lake 

or over to another glacier melt lake.  I stopped here on the way back down as the breeze coming off the lake was very cold and refreshing after the ascent.

Then it is the last uphill section to the top

From the top … just look around, but be careful on the path (there are parts that carry risk)