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Combined Trip Report

Fall 2008

Biking Sauvie Island

August 23rd
About 20 level miles *** 2 bikers *** Nice day; clear & warm

We didnít get any pictures as Ed and I rode around the island. There are some areas where the traffic gets pretty thick with narrow roads. Canít say I would do it again.

Squaw Mt.

September 20th
7 miles *** 5 hikers *** Very Foggy 2 dogs

It seemed fitting that it should be a foggy day as we hiked out to the 1966 crash site of a DC-9 in the Salmon/Huckleberry Wilderness. On the way, we stepped over to see Sheepshead Rock but there were no views to be had today.

I told the history behind this tragedy as we hiked. It was a maiden test flight with only the crew aboard and about a dozen passengers, which slammed into the steep side of this remote mountain as it was beginning its descent for a Portland runway. It was also the first DC-9 to crash and the first fatal accident for West Coast Airline.

After hiking for two hours, we found the clearing where trees were snapped off by the plane, making the area easy to spot. We explored the debris strewn around about 1 acre as we thought about the people who lost their lives up here on that foggy, rainy night. The pilots would have only a few seconds to be terrified as they realized their mistake. The metallic parts of the plane survived the fiery crash leaving a sort of hands-on museum of the wreckage and most of these pieces will never rust away.

At lunch I took the time to read the peopleís names that died here and gave more details of their short flight from Eugene. I told of the last minute decision of a young collage student who got on board so she could spend the weekend with her parents only to die 15 minutes later.

We will never know why Capt. Donald Aldredge and his crew believed they were 5,000 feet higher then they really were.

I have always had a special feeling for this place and a respect for the high tech graveyard that it is. I donít plan on taking many trips here but every time I do, it helps me put my life in perspective as I walk away with something of great value, life itself.

Previous Trip reports....

  • March 15th:
    Lost Lake..........

    August 16th, 2008
    About 8 moderate miles
    6 people

    Nice day; clear & warm
    After changing a few trips this year due to snowpack, this one was relocated because of forest fire. All the trails on the east side of Mt. Hood were closed this summer due to the Gnarl Ridge fire on that side. For a map of the extent of the fire, check out this website: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/1465/

    I did a last-minute scramble to come up with an alternative in the Mt. Hood area. We had a request for "some place shady with water", so I thought Lost Lake would fit the bill. The road up is so long and winding, we had to stop a time or two, so people wouldnít get car sick. Once we finally got there, we were told to turn left away from the store to find a parking spot. We didnít have a map of the campground, so I wasnít exactly sure where we were when we parked, but I figured weíd find the lake eventually.

    We hiked up a road, turned through someoneís campsite, and down a steep hill to connect with the lake trail. We turned left and walked along several boardwalks, passing several places where the lake could be accessed. Every single one of them was full of people. When we got to the south end of the lake, we turned left to start up the Huckleberry Mt. Trail.

    It was good to leave the crowds behind as we headed up the hill. After a couple of switchbacks, we were able to look back down on the lake which had a few boats on it. Lost Lake Butte loomed high across the lake. As we approached the ridge, we could see the Gnarl Ridge fire to the north of Mt. Hood. The fire was hot enough to give the smoke a red glow thousands of feet in the air. Our destination was the Pacific Crest Trail where

    Dave fixed the sign with his trusty multipliers. On the way down, as we stopped to watch the fire a little more, we said a prayer for the safety of the firefighters.

    Back at the lake, Dave & I crowded in amongst the other people and managed a short swim. At the north end, we found more boardwalks among

    the feeder creeks and wetlands where Seth found a geocache near a bench.

    Another short swim for me as the others explored the store. After 25 years of guiding, it finally happened; I got the group lost. Where? At Lost of course. After leaving the store, we walked back on the boardwalk a ways, then turned up the right trail through the right campsite, but we took a wrong turn at the top of the hill. This is where I was wishing I had a map of the actual campground which the guide books and forest service maps donít have. As I said earlier, I didnít exactly know where we were in the parking lot in relation to the store and by now I was too tired to think correctly, but after wandering in the wrong direction awhile, we turned around and went back to the car.

    We stopped for a hot meal at Zig Zag Inn on the way home.

    Iíve since found a map online so Iíll know where we are next time.

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