Big Kitty on the PCT (Cascade-Siskiyou NM) 09-Apr-2022

After two days of warm, almost summer-like weather, it’s beginning to look as though a late season, multi-day rain and snow extravaganza is heading toward us. This atmospheric excitement is supposed to start tomorrow and continue well into next week. It won’t be shorts weather for awhile, but we can sure use the water. ๐Ÿ˜‚

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Mount Ashland (Southwest Oregon) 01-Apr-2022

Mount McLoughlin dominates the eastern horizon here, but it’s Mount Ashland (7,532 ft / 2,295 m) – with its ski area and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and wildflower meadows and views – that draws the crowds. It’s summit is not as distinctly visible as McLoughlin’s but, if you can pick out a giant white ball, you’re seeing Mount Ashland.

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Burton Butte (Southwest Oregon) 06-Feb-2022

Winter here got off to a strong start, with a magnificent snow dump over the Christmas holidays. This encouraged what were, perhaps, optimistic expectations. We thought that this first big snowfall would settle, additional snow would follow, and then we’d go snowshoeing under “ideal” conditions. But after that big one, it’s been nothing but clear skies, warm days, cold nights, and dry, dry, dry. That earlier snow has been melting and compacting for weeks. So, rather than wait for mythical “ideal” conditions, we decided to just put on our snowshoes and go.

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Boccard~Soda Loop (Soda Mountain Wilderness) 03-Dec-2021

After two days of heavy lifting and organizing, a swarm of volunteers (me included) got the library’s long-delayed used book sale ready to go. It’s not technically a sale, as the books are free, but donations are readily accepted. The LovedOne spent today there with other volunteers, running around keeping the cellulose moving out the door. Seems there was a pent-up demand for books (Why would that be?) and donations on this first day were particularly generous. ๐Ÿ˜ The sale continues tomorrow and hopefully so will the donations – which are used to fund some of the library’s reading and outreach projects.

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Back to Big Red (Siskiyou Mountains) 29-Nov-2021

The county library’s long delayed used book sale will be held this Friday and Saturday. ๐Ÿ˜ But the setting up, running, and taking down of it (all done by volunteers) will consume Wednesday through Sunday. I’ll be helping for two of those days but The LovedOne, as the sale’s organizer, will be all in for all five days. Right now, the weather is foggy on the ground and sunny higher up, but that’s expected to change the day after the sale ends. ๐Ÿค” So I figured we’d better get in a hike together in good weather before the sale hits. Which brought us, yet again, to Big Red Mountain (7,028 ft / 2,142 m) west of Mount Ashland.

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Porcupine Mountain (Cascade-Siskiyou NM) 17-Nov-2021

After we returned from our adventures in Death Valley, The LovedOne threw herself into preparing for the library’s big used book clearance sale – the first one in almost two years (Yeah! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ). Lots of books have piled up in those two years, so getting ready has (temporarily) taken her out of action for hiking (Sigh ๐Ÿ˜ฅ). But it’s for a good cause – people get affordable books to read and the library gets some additional funds. That said, today was forecast as a day between storms, so I decided to make use of it for a hike. Porcupine Mountain, which sits just north of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), offers an easy hike with big views. It seemed like a good choice for a morning’s hike.

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A Brush With Vulture (Cascade-Siskiyou NM) 31-Oct-2021

Three peaks straddle the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) due east of Oregon’s Howard Prairie Lake: Brush Mountain (with north and south summits), Old Baldy, and rocky Point 6054 (known locally as “Vulture Rock“). Point 6054 was never the site of a Forest Service fire lookout, while Old Baldy hosted one between 1924 and 1961, and two sat atop Brush Mountain between 1915 and 1930. The lookout on Brush Mountain’s northern summit was probably one of the most unusual ever allowed by the U.S. Forest Service:

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To the Devil (Sky Lakes Wilderness) 06-Oct-2021

Devils Peak (7,582 ft / 2,311 m) sits on the divide between the Seven Lakes and Sky Lakes Basins in the Sky Lakes Wilderness. It’s not the highest point in the wilderness but from its summit you have an expansive 360ยฐ view, plus a unique view north toward the Crater Lake Rim. Four years had passed since our last visit and it was certainly time for another. An attempt this August was foiled by choking clouds of wildfire smoke. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ But it’s rained a few times since, the fires are out, and the air is now clear. Another wet cold front went through last night, further clearing the air and dropping temperatures (and a tiny bit of snow); it was time for another go at Devils. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Union Peak (Crater Lake National Park) 21-Sep-2021

We said good-bye to summer with a hike up Union Peak (7,709 ft / 2,350 m) in the southwest corner of Crater Lake National Park. The peak is the eroded remains (the neck) of a much larger volcano and is the second oldest peak in the park. The views from its summit are spectacular – provided they aren’t obscured by smoke. Which they were for most of this summer. So when our recent rains cleared the air and damped the wildfires, we knew it was time to visit Union again after a six year ๐Ÿ˜ฒ absence.

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Observation Peak Loop (Southwest Oregon) 16-Sep-2021

Significant rain is forecast for this coming weekend. Maybe (hopefully) it will be enough to squelch some of the wildfires still burning to our south and north. Or at least enough to flush the air clean of smoke. Fingers crossed this actually happens. ๐Ÿ™„

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Little Hyatt Loop (Cascade-Siskiyou NM) 12-Sep-2021

The fires to the north and south of us are still burning but with less vigor. Magic sky water is predicted for later this week. If it arrives, it will (hopefully) hasten the end of what has been a truly nasty fire season here and in Northern California. Many of these fires were lightning caused. That’s unwanted but natural. But the cause of the River Complex Fire – which burned across trails we’ve enjoyed in the northern Trinity Alps ๐Ÿ˜ขย – has been traced to an untended campfire.ย A CAMPFIRE! What kind of thoughtless idiot lights a campfire on a windy red flag day during a drought?! ๐Ÿคฌย Human stupidity seems to be our only infinitely renewable resource. ๐Ÿคช

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