With a short time window for a day hike (7:00 – 11:00) and a delivery on the way to make, I made for Spring Blvd trailhead on the Ridgeline Trail – objective was to touch the top of Spencer Butte 3x and cover at least 10 miles. Fast hiking (thru-hike style) with a camera on Ridgeline Trail! The Spring Blvd trailhead is 15 minute drive with a stop, and remains the safest Ridgeline TH in my opinion – car break-ins elsewhere are irrationally high. Crossing an overpass on the way made the case for a clear day up-coming.

The first segment (Spring Blvd to Baldy) was in the dark with a headlamp, and then at the top of Baldy, the sky opened up and again I imagined a clear morning.

A bit later, while still mostly dark (no headlamp though), a Douglas Squirrel made an impact. Trying to get a good picture (it just sat on a branch waiting for me to leave) was almost impossible. Light would not reflect sufficiently off the squirrel’s fur to get a good pic – tried flash, non flash but nothing really worked. Then, it hit me … that’s a great way to stay hidden from small raptors hunting rodents. This was the best pic – no flash.

From here, up to Spencer Summit for the first time and the air stability crumbled with huge layers of clouds … yet a surprising micro-focused sunbeam.

From the top, down to S Willamette TH and then back to the top – with time running short, the next descent only went to the first switchback, then back to the top where the air had degraded more

Back to the car at 10:45 after 10 miles, 3x touching the top, no rain … and a new observation about Douglas Squirrels. If you live in Eugene, and you hike, why not catch Ridgeline and Spencer regularly? I see many of the same people as I usually hike same day and time window. Fast hiking with a camera (and the many variations) on Ridgeline and Spencer is just a fabulous shoulder season hike that provides distance, elevation gain, animals, good people, and very, very low carbon karma.

GaiaGPS Stats Recorded Track

1 Comment

  1. Maybe the squirrel will be watching out for you!

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