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.

Red Butte Via Duffy Lake

The night air was cool and we flipped on our headlamps in the parking lot and started the trail to Duffy Lake. The sun had just set and we were hoping to meet our friends at Duffy Lake before they turned in for the night. We moved quickly, dodging six large toads and a snake that were bedding down on the trail. We made good time, but it was too late. The sun had been down for about an hour, and everyone who was camping had retired to their tents for the night. We tried to remember what our friends’ tents looked like, but we couldn’t. It should go without saying that there was no cell service.

We decided to make camp in a flat-ish area that didn’t seem too close to any other campers, and spent the night sliding towards the bottom of the tent. When I got up, I realized that Joanna’s hunch from the night before was right: we were set up right in the middle of the trail. We hurriedly broke down the tent and packed up, ready for a lengthy excursion to find our friends. But we only made it another sixty feet before I saw my friend Angela. We had walked right by their site the night before! We made camp, once again, and had breakfast.

That day, we hiked to the top of Red Butte, with great views of the Sisters, Mt Washington, Three Fingered Jack and Mt Jefferson, and then made a detour on our return to visit Santiam Lake for a quick swim before returning to Duffy Lake. The mosquitoes were bad, but the company was good.

My photography has been feeling a little stale lately. I brought along my portrait lens on this one to mix things up.

Dry Fir Trail to Veda Lake


A quick hike to Veda Lake before a barbecue. We caught a a glimpse of a large owl right before we pulled up to the trailhead. From the trail, this was one of two unobstructed views of the mountain. The lake itself (visible just through the trees) was swarming with mosquitoes, so our visit was very brief.