Jefferson Park via Park Ridge

Saturday was going to be the last sunny day in the forecastable future so we woke up at 6am to take advantage of it (Joanna’s first words of protest after the alarm went off: “Weekends are supposed to be nice!”)

We met up with Angela and her coworker, Joe, to hike in the Jefferson Wilderness. Angela had chosen the hike and I kept having feelings of deja-vu until just before we crested the ridge, when I felt very strongly that I knew what the viewpoint would be the on the other side. Sure enough, it turned out that we’d done this same hike a year before (OregonHikers had a different name for it than AllTrails, which is always confusing). What a dramatic landscape. I’ve never had such a complete view of Mt Jefferson and it was no less wonderful than our first go around. We hiked down the ridge to Scout Lake and enjoyed some watermelon that Joe had brought, kept refreshingly chilled in a collapsible cooler (why hadn’t we ever thought of that?!)

A little note to anyone who wants to try this hike. The road is VERY rough. Last year, we had to leave my compact car and hike up the road for two miles to the trailhead. This year, we were in Joe’s SUV, but it was an extremely bumpy ride nonetheless. Still, it’s one of the region’s best hikes and well worth a little extra planning.

Potato Butte: Foiled Again!

This was the second time we attempted to summit Potato Butte. The first time, we missed the turn off for the climb up the butte entirely. This time, we returned with our friend Angela and a carefully marked topo map in Gaia. It was a beautiful day, and the mosquitoes were out site-seeing too — we moved past these beautiful shallow lakes with haste.

There was so no way we would miss the turn off for the butte summit this time. And indeed, we found the turn off. But the trail quickly tapered off and left us at the base of the butte. It looked like a pretty dense bushwack and while I would have jumped right into it, I could sense some reluctance in my party so we quit while we were ahead.

I don’t know what it is about this one. It’s fast becoming the white whale of PNW hikes for me. I’ll bet the view from the top of the butte is spectacular. Maybe I’ll finally get to see it next year.