December 7, 2014.
5 mi. | 900′ ele. gain | 3.75 hr.
Today’s planned snow hike was re-routed due to lack of snow. Everywhere. So, instead of driving two hours to a place without snow, our team decided to stay closer to town and do a training hike locally.
We arrived at Peavy Arboretum, where a spiderweb of trails leads out in every direction. Surely we could find a decent hike in here today. Everyone brought their loaded up winter daypacks to practice carrying weight while walking.
Our hike began on the 500 Road past the orange gate. A short road walk took us to the barn and the trail head for the Section 36 Loop. I’d hiked the Section 36 + Powderhouse Loop a few times and felt pretty familiar with the trails. Our group of 6 happily chatted as we walked along the damp, but pretty, trails in the Arboretum.
After a few ups and downs we arrived at my favorite spot on the loop: the meadow viewpoint. Here we snacked, took selfies, struck poses and enjoyed watching the clouds roll in and out over the mountains.
We traipsed back into the forest and walked to Cronemiller Lake, another great resting spot. An eerie fog rose up off the surface of the lake behind us. After eating lunch and playing around on the logging thing-a-ma-bobs we decided to extend our loop a bit further.
I wasn’t terribly familiar with the trails on this side of the forest, so we veered onto the Intensive Management trail and walked a bit further. The trees were so perfectly aligned, it was like this part of the forest had undergone some intensive management…
All day long we were surrounded by green plans, cool mushrooms, drooping lichens and a variety of trees. The forest in winter is still very much alive and presents a diversity of things to see.
Despite the lack of snow and last-minute change of plans we had a really fun day. It’s nice to share these experiences with good people. We’ll just have to see what Crater Lake has in store for us and be up for anything!