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Rcluster - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2013

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Ron & Julie "Snowplow & Rubber Legs" Cluster
City: Eugene
State: OR
Country: USA
Begins: Aug 16, 2013
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sat, Jul 20th, 2013
Daily Distance: 0
Hours Hiked: 3.5
Daily Ascent: 1338
Max Elevation: 4343
Entry Lat: 43.83724
Entry Lng: -122.48288
People Met: 23

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 540
Journal Visits: 8,015
Guestbook Views: 345
Guestbook Entrys: 8

Pacific Crest Trail Map

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Meadow wildflower

Tire Mt day hike - 7.7 miles

Decided that we had better get at least a couple day hikes in before we start off doing 15 to 18 miles a day for a couple weeks. Fortunately we have managed to stay in shape since last year.....(round is a shape, right??).

Julie found a few likely hikes in one of William Sullivan's books and we decided to try the Tire Mountain hike. We hadn't done this one before but the description sounded pretty good, mostly forest but with a few open meadows that would give us some views of the Cascade peaks.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early, OK maybe just early (8am is early, right?) and headed up the Willamette Pass highway towards Oakridge. Turning off the highway at Westfir soon gets us onto a gravel, washboard forest road, and about 15 miles later we vibrated to a stop at the trailhead. We'll try to stop on our way back down and pick up all the bolts that we lost on the way up.

Started up the trail at 9:30am. Little bit of a climb to start out with but we are in heavy forest so at least we're not in the sun. After a bit we come to the first open meadow and we do get a view of Diamond Peak to the southeast. Pretty nice, and we are also treated to a nice variety of wildflowers. This part however, is in the sun and it's starting to heat up so we get moving again to get back into some shade. Soon, a group of nine mountain bikers catch up to us and we let them by. Nice folks, very considerate. Looks like we are on a pretty well used, and well maintained trail. We soon come to another steep, open meadow with a view to the east where we spot all Three Sisters, Broken Top, Mt Bachelor and Diamond Peak. Kind of like seeing good friends that you haven't seen in a long time. After a mile and a half we come to a trail junction and take the uphill fork to the right, which continues our gradual climb up onto a ridge. Along the ridge for about a mile and we come to the spur trail taking off to our left that climbs up to Tire Mountain's summit.

This trail obviously does not get the bike traffic and is also not as well maintained. We start running into a few downed trees across the trail, most of which are easily stepped over. Then we come to one that is too high to get over. Julie manages to crawl under it but I'm not feeling like I want to try that, so it's up and through some brush and small trees, up and over the downed tree and then through brush back to the trail. Not sure that was any easier though. The next downed tree looked like it was going to turn us back. Very large and on a steep slope. We probably could get over it if we took our packs off. There is a trail heading uphill that looks like it would go around the root ball but it's really steep and I didn't have any luck getting up it. Then Julie realized that the trail does a switchback just beyond the tree and heads back our direction above us. We managed to work our way uphill along the tree until we could get onto the upper segment of the trail. From there it was a short climb up to the summit.

The guidebook had warned us that trees blocked most of the view from the top, but it was wrong. Trees blocked ALL of the view from the top. We couldn't even find the location of where the old fire lookout had stood. Not much reason to spend a lot of time up there so we soon headed back down. Getting back down along the giant uprooted tree was easier than going uphill and we were soon back down to the junction with the main trail.

We would meet several groups of riders on our way back to the van but all were watching for hikers and we were able to find spots to let them get by us. Julie spots movement next to the trail which turns out to be a small snake. He looks like a juvenile garter snake maybe. Mostly very dark grey with just a hint of a red stripe down his back. Pretty easy downhill back to the van and then it's back down to Westfir. We see a Grouse and a little later a Quail on the road on the way down. We head into Oakridge for an iced coffee drink and a Dairy Queen hamburger and then spend the rest of the day watching trains on the old SP line up to Willamette Pass.

Animal sightings: Grouse, Quail, Osprey, Garter? snake, Chipmunk, Deer

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Journal Photo

Ron & Julie On The PCT - 2013

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. Join the PCTA to support this trail.


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