Illahee Flat to Marsters Segment, North Umpqua Trail - May 29, 2010
Coordinator Ray Jensen, narration by and pictures by Ray Jensen

This began s a Twin Lakes planned hike but instead of the expected wildflowers at Twin Lakes we found deep “wild” snow on the road to the TH. Luckily a member told us about it the day before we drove up the road. A friend said he flew over the lakes the week before and they were still frozen! Unbelievable but that’s the kind of flaky weather we’ve had this spring. So I picked as an alternative a shuttle starting at Illahee Flats, down to the Jessie Wright section of the NUT, and then down the Marsters section. 22 souls turned out for this really enjoyable hike in perfect hike weather. We had a lot of new / nonmembers turn out for this hike – probably trying to get over cabin fever – including my neighbor boy of 13 - Parker.

At Illahee Flat we found it full of campers at a ‘Knap’ event which was totally unexpected. Knapping is the art of making arrowheads or other tools out of flint or rock. People come from all over for these events apparently. The first 1 mile section from Illahee Flat to Jessie Wright was, I think, the most scenic. The sloping meadows were alive with wildflowers and in some sunshine were like candy for the eyes. After the next mile down the NUT we reached the Marsters Bridge and after crossing it we reached the east end of Marsters. Everyone ambled down the hilly, forested Marsters section and ate lunch at which ever place they liked - the river being the constant companion. Parker ended up leading most of the way – oh the speed of youth. At the TH some of the faster hikers extended the hike by hiking part of the Calf Segment and also into Horseshoe Campground. The standard hike was 6 plus miles and everyone commented that they enjoyed the hike selection.

After we packed up the cars the four of us riding in my truck went adventuring towards the Twin Lakes TH up Wilson Creek Rd. We got to within approx. ¾ mile of the TH before deep snow on the road prevented further progress without the possibility of getting stuck (see Richard and John about previous adventure!). We decided to hike a little ways up road in snow for the fun of it. To make a long story short we made it to the TH and kept going up trail to viewpoint. It was an awesome view of Diamond Peak, Thielsen, Bailey, Howlock Ridge, Illahee Rock, and many others all covered in snow. Three of us continued on to the largest lake hiking partly on deep snow drifts. The lake was still iced over and covered with fresh snow as was the surrounding landscape. Sadly I had left my backpack in the truck with my camera. A very worthwhile side trip and end to the day.

Parker gets a star for fastest but Jane gets a star for the longest day hiking.

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