9 December 2012 Trip Report

9 December 2012 Trip Report

by SMC coordinator Gabe Howe
10 December 2012 | Soda Mountain Wilderness Area —

Yesterday morning longtime volunteer Lisa Stutey and I left Ashland at 5am for the Soda Mountain Wilderness. Our goal was to remove the last remaining downed log on the Lone Pilot Trail.

Blanket of fogĀ 

By the time we arrived at the trailhead, it was still dark and frozen. The trail was cold, crunching beneath our tired feet.

But after less than an hour light started to crack, revealing a thick cover of fog on the valley floors to the south toward Mt. Shasta. From Lone Pine Ridge, the views were stunning.

Before

The last log remaining on the Lone Pilot Trail was about 7-miles from the trailhead, and we arrived there by 930am. Lisa got straight to work on the large ponderosa pine.

Lisa runs the crosscut solo

By the time we were done sawing and chopping and rolling, the sun was out and shining very close to us.

After. Our work reduces erosion caused by hikers and stock being forced to circumvent the original tread.

On our sore hike back, we took a few breaks, admiring the winter views in what felt like summer sun. We rearranged layers as we braided through sunny and shady sections of the route.

“This is why I think I will stay in Oregon,” Stutey told me as we stared south over the sunny slopes of the Soda Mountain Wilderness.

Mt Shasta from Lone Pilot Trail near Scotch Creek

We were back to the trailhead by 5pm. While 14 miles may seem like a long ways to hike for just one log, the satisfaction is unparalleled. Especially with those winter views.

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