Sundog, Lake Marie Oregon 2018

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Continued ...

On Saturday we started at the Bear Gulch day use area, went up Condor Gulch Trail, and took a right turn onto High Peaks Trail which took us back down to Bench Trail and a shuttle bus.

Sunday morning I was a bit stiff, but amazingly not totally incapacitated!

Looking at the trail map, I thought it would be nice to take it easy and just do the Moses Spring - Bear Gulch Cave - Rim Trail loop.  It was described as "easy" and "suitable for small children."  Just about the level I felt up to.

It started with a very peaceful forest trail along a creek. 

A nice place for a picnic.

It went thru caves that were created by large rocks that had fallen together eons ago

This rock is at the exit area of the cave.  Notice the stairs going up under it. 

It was a BIG rock!

At the top of the trail there was a very peaceful reservoir.  There were several families with small children resting there. 

The weather was just about perfect.

We continued onto the Rim Trail which was interesting and not too challenging. When we came to the cut off that went back to the Day Use Area, our legs had been stretched and we were not quite ready to call it a day.

What the heck.  Why not  go up High Peaks Trail as far as Scout Peak, and then decide?

If the part of the trail described as "Steep and Narrow" looked too hard, we could try Juniper Canyon Trail or we could always come back down the way we'd come.  


So up we went. I whimpered a few times on this part, but Craig kept encouraging me and suggested I eat an energy bar. It helped a little.  Peanut butter to the rescue!
There was a bench at the junction of High Peaks and Juniper Canyon trails.  It was the only bench we saw in two days on the trails.  We rested, and had some water and grapes.  

There were three condors soaring high above. 
The air was crisp and clear. 

I wished for a helicopter.

There was another couple there that had some experience with the trails.  They told us that Juniper was very hard, and that although the next section of High Peaks was narrow, there were handrails.  It was also their opinion that going back down the way we had come was the hardest option.  

Besides, the next leg of the trail was less than a mile.

Yeah ...  Sure ...  Longest "less than a mile" I have ever hiked!

There were handrails as promised.
Both going up...

... And down.

I found it easier to go down backwards, clutching the railing as I placed each foot into the steps carved into the side of the rock.  Although the railing felt very solid, it was also very hot from the sun and felt like a frying pan fresh out of a campfire. 

But, the view was worth it!

It felt like we could see what the birds see as they soar high above.

We were both glad to see the turn off for Condor Canyon Trail.  What started as an easy day turned into a six hour hike.  

Will I ever do it again?  NO!  

Will I try another equally strenuous  hike in some other place?  YOU BETCHA! 

I haven't felt this great, or this sore, since I skied a double black diamond called "The Wall." 

I can do it!


  1. You go, girl! We did a hike like that one day without enough idea of what we were in to, and it ended up being a five hour hike! We started getting nervous when we were running out of daylight! It's a great feeling to accomplish something like that when you are not used to doing it. Hope to get Eldy back on a great trail like that one of these days....but we gotta get back to the mountains first!

  2. Ahh-you should be so proud of yourself! What a beautiful view.

  3. Woof! Good going there, thinking about using the steps like a ladder. I have to go rub some Ben-Gay on my reading muscles now.

  4. I'm jealous!!!!! But hey, it was 65f here today!! Whoohoo!

    Have fun Merikay! :)


  5. Great Photos

    Your saying no now but the better you get the more you'll want to do including repeats.

    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  6. It's good that you are excited about hiking more and not letting the soreness/fatigue stop you.

  7. once again good for you both!!..great views from the peak!!

  8. Awesome! What a great hike - beautiful views!! :)

  9. Very good! Great exercise, good pictures, and you did it!

  10. Good for you in persevearing with that hike. Tough as it is at the time it is always a great feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day. The mental & physical benefits are always a good thing for sure...

  11. Good for you - soon you'll be running a marathon (and think of those calories) :-) - I would have required emergency personnel at some point...

  12. Awesome hike! Well done!!!

    Keep those Clif Bars handy. Over the years, I finally learned to listen to advice Paul gained in his training as a runner: Eat 'em before you feel like you need 'em. It makes a huge difference on a long hike and gives me a real boost on the trail when I really need it.

    And, you're so right. Hiking sticks make a BIG difference, especially on the downslope! Sounds like a trip to REI is in order. Have fun!

  13. What an awesome hike and you should be proud of yourself for making it after the day you hiked before - that's a lot of hiking! We had that phenomena of hiking much further than we planned also and you are definitely exhausted by the end. Great photos of the view!

  14. Way to go! I think you guys have caught the hiking bug :)

  15. Great photos and description of your hike. I couldn't help but remember some of our old blog posts about being on your treadmill with the hope of someday hiking in national parks! You did it girl!

  16. Yay, you did it. You survived! You lived to blog about it. Wish I could be there too.

  17. I know exactly what you mean. I wanted to join a group in the Sierra Club that was back-packing, snow camping, etc., but you had to pass a test first to see which level group you belonged in. Carry a load up a mountain that had lots of switchbacks, way more than I had done before.

    I was in my late 50s. Younger people passed me on my way up, and and were coming back down before I had gone very far. I kept having to stop to breathe. But I did it. I was probably the oldest person with the slowest time, but they said if you make it to the top, you can join the group. Still one of my best accomplishments. I felt like a million bucks. And a million years old the next day! Well worth it!

    GOOD FOR YOU! :)


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