November morning above the fog on Ridgeline Trail and atop Spencer Butte. Cedar Creek fire skies almost completely gone. First morning light increasingly orangish-pink rather than fire-red but the fire continues to burn – update page (the news is old, but the map current).

Selecting yet another Ridgeline hike did not come easy. Both Marys Peak and Silver Falls St Part considered but the hike time vs drive time could not balance out – carbon karma driven decision to stay close and save that carbon spend for a hike with extraordinary conditions – better photos!

The Route

Spring Blvd TH to Spencer top; down to S. Willamette TH; up to Spencer top; down to N. Willamette TH; up to Spencer top; and finally down to Spring Blvd.

For an hour, a headlamp required as both dark and pea-soup thick fog. Could hardly see the trail. Arriving at Baldy meadow changed nothing except colder, wetter wind coming up over the ridge.

Wildlife Concern

While hiking from S. Willamette TH, a young deer (born this year) wandered the trail lost and frightened. Sadly, people petted it, feed it and did nothing else. I tried to call the city (it is a city park after all) and the county using 4 different numbers to notify either a voice mail or actual human – all 4 calls ended in phone menu torture. At the S. Willamette TH, a sign posts the ‘park number’, so I called and reached a human. Their response to my deer’s description, “we do not have the resources to respond to wildlife issues. Call the state and here is that number”. I could remember the number to call … sigh. 5 tries to get help.

I did not see the deer again, but had bad feelings about its chances.

At the top

Initially between the fog and upper clouds enough clear sky to see 3 Sisters in the distance. Cedar Creek fire reds swapped to pinks and orange – more normal. By the 3rd time at the top, clouds arrived closing the gap to all grey. In the first photo (top left), only on a morning above the fog would show those cloud holes.

Frost on the hills

Looking off to northeast, last nights frost showed on Coburg Hills above the fog. For the first couple hours, temperatures remained below 40 degrees.

GaiaGPS Stats

Recorded track. For the observant, this hike was not a ‘fast hike’; both the pace and the ‘stopped time’ duration indicate a more leisurely morning walk above the fog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *