July 20, 2014.
10.6 mi | 3300′ ele. gain | 6:45 hr.
Today’s Mazama lead: Dome Rock. I got to share this killer hike with three people today. It was a mixed bag of folks, since I was trying to coordinate hikers primarily based in Portland from my home base in Corvallis, it drew people from all over. We carpooled from Salem and got to the trailhead around 9 am.
It was warm and cloudy, a little muggier than I would like. We started up the Tumble Creek trail on an easy, flat grade. Soon we reached the junction with Dome Rock Trail and it went straight up the hillside.
The group members were mostly prepared for this hike but one individual was decidedly slower than the rest of us. So we took our time heading uphill, stopping for frequent rest breaks so everyone could stay together.
As we switchbacked up the hillside, we sneaked in glimpses of Detroit Lake through the trees. It was mostly a slog through the forest, however, and I was happy when we finally reached the meadow. It was a nice change of scenery. Plus, it was the tail end of thimbleberry season so I grabbed a few snacks as we walked through the lush greenery.
We bobbed up and down the ridgeline after that, catching a few more vistas before the final pitch to the top. This had always been my favorite part: the alpine rock garden. Stonecrop busted out of the cliffs, showing off its tall, yellow flowers.
At the summit, some relief! We all made it. We rested, ate and soaked in the views for the next 45 minutes before heading down. At least the downhill was less taxing than going up.
I never know who’s going to show up on these trips and in what condition they’ll be for hiking. Our slowest hiker was a trooper though, nothing was going to stop her! I enjoyed the camaraderie and friendliness of all my hikers. That’s the best part about leading trips: meeting the folks who are up for an adventure, no matter what. I don’t care how fast or slow they are, as long as they show up with a good attitude!