Payette Trail (Southwest Oregon) 11-Feb-2022

Daytime temperatures have been unseasonably warm (70℉ / 21℃) here for some time now. So much so that the weather people on the TV are no longer gushing about all this sunny weather. It is supposed to rain – for one day – early next week. Which will be – if it happens – the first time we’ve experienced magic sky water in over a month. We like warmth and sunshine as much as anyone but both can be overdone. Now is supposed to be our snowy and wet season, when we store-up water to see us through the blistering summer ahead. So where we are now – at least weather-wise – is not good, not good at all. 😧 Our glass half full happiness metaphor is in jeopardy! Our hopes for moisture are now pinned on a late winter round of strong storms to top-up our dwindling reservoirs. We’ll see…

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Witcome-Payette Loop (Applegate Lake) 21-Mar-2021

Applegate Lake is actually a reservoir, built and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Their design, way back in the 1970s, included fences to keep free-roaming cattle from reaching the lake and cavorting wantonly in the shallows. Since the lake isn’t much there most of the year, it was more likely to keep cattle from getting stuck in the mud. Anyway, the Corps built a road – a stock driveway – behind one of these fences so they could collect and remove errant cows. In the intervening years, the need to collect stray cows seems to have dissipated and today this driveway is more trail than road. It shows on today’s Forest Service maps as a trail paralleling the Payette Trail #970 between the Payette and Manzanita Trailheads. I first hiked a loop using the Witcome in 2016 and have done so a couple of times since. But the last time for me was in 2017 and The LovedOne had never hiked it, so today we went out to see how the driveway was holding-up.

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Latgawa Peninsula Loop (Applegate Lake) 22-Feb-2021

Most of the geographic features at Applegate Lake (actually a reservoir) don’t have official (USGS) names but some have local names. A peninsula, bounded to the north by French Gulch (official name) and to the south by Squaw Creek Arm (local name), juts out from the east side of the lake. I’ve taken to calling this the Latgawa Peninsula simply because there’s a campsite (actually just a flat spot next to the trail) on it by that name. The USGS spells it “Latgawa” but the Forest Service’s opportunity guide spells it “Latagawa” (and shows the campsite as a trailhead, which it’s not unless you have a boat or want to walk across a mud flat at low water). All this cartographic wizardry aside, the peninsula does harbor some pleasant, low-altitude trails ideal for a winter leg stretch.

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Applegate Lake (Southwest Oregon) 20-May-2020

The Big V has (mercifully) only lightly touched our county thus far, so we were allowed to start re-opening last week. But a late season storm and some remote work conspired to keep us “in place” since our stroll to Vulture Rock five days ago. There’s an old saying that summer in Oregon doesn’t really start until the Fourth of July – and last week may be proof of that. 🙄 But when today was forecast to be an artistic mix of sun and clouds, we decided to go see if Applegate Lake looked like a lake yet.

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On Applegate Lake (Oregon) 12-Mar-2020

Well, these are trying times. Today we cancelled our long-planned trip to Cuba. The virus of course. Going anyway would have been inconsistent with helping to “flatten the curve” through social distancing (something we’re quite good at actually), avoiding crowds, and no unnecessary travel. As much as we wanted to, visiting Cuba at this time was clearly unnecessary. Not going proved costly, however, as the virus had invalidated our travel insurance.

And then there’s the stock market’s search for the bottom. Watching your life savings evaporate on a daily basis is bracing to say the least. And then there’s that clown car of elected federal officials in Washington who only seem capable of making the Big V’s effects worse. Those poor benighted buggers couldn’t find their arseholes with both hands and a compass. Sigh. So we’re staying home, protected by walls built of the immense supply of toilet paper we seem to have mysterious accumulated. 🙄

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