Spencer Butte - April 16, 2011
Coordinator Camille Simon, narration by Camille Simon and pictures by Joyce Swanson
Our group of five rain-geared hikers left for Eugene and the Spencer Butte trailhead on the morning of Saturday, April 16. We took two cars It was only "damp" when we left but by the time we arrived at the trailhead, it was misting a bit. In hopes of a bit more sunshine, we took off on a good trail and enjoyed the view and the old apple orchard in bloom as we progressed uphill.
Soon we were immersed in a forest of tall evergreens with lots of accompanying undergrowth, lichen and moss, and focused on the gradual climb and all the fawn lilies, calypso orchids, emerging fiddleheads, and various other emerging Spring plants we encountered along the way. Unfortunately, the light rain continued and, in hopes of having drier conditions on the return walk, picture-taking was delayed. It didn't happen; the rain picked up and by the time we returned, the trail had changed from simply wet to MUD.
We encountered many other hikers (often runners!), many with pets along, and in spite of the rain, all seemed to be enjoying themselves! The forest continued to be beautiful and full of interesting plants. The Jensens made it to the end of the trail which would normally have provided a view of Eugene, but on this murky day, was not visible.
We three bringing up the rear didn't choose to take that last 1/2 mile climb to the butte and settled for eating our lunch in a meadow, under the dubious protection of available trees! At that point we adjusted our rain gear/clothing and enjoyed the downhill (mostly) walk to the trailhead, with no mishaps and feeling good about this 5+ mile moderate hike. It can be accessed from several neighborhoods in Eugene, offering city dwellers a real "forest" experience nearby.
Roseburg Oregon Hiking Club