The Twins - September 17, 2011
Coordinator Richard O'Neill, narration and pictures by Richard O'Neill

A little bit a the outer edge of our hiking zone, The Twins is a relatively short but challenging hike in the Waldo Lake area. 

Autumn (and winter) is on the way and we began under an overcast sky with cool temperatures, some would even say it was chilly.  After a mile or so of uphill hiking through a lodgepole forest on a dusty trail, we crossed the Pacific Crest Trail, bringing back fond memories (for me, at least) of a memorable backpack trip Dollie and I did on this section of the PCT.  Lois got her glasses dirty and in a shocking display of uncouth behavior, she spit-shined her dirty spectacles.

The trail continued uphill through a forest with vurtually no undergrowth and eventually rocky outcrops told us we were getting near The Twins.  There were a number of small stagnant ponds but fortunately, we were on the downhill side of mosquito season, not too many hikers got bit. 

Suddenly, the trees thinned out altogether and a grassy slope rose up in front of us like some pastured insurmountable wall.  But it was surmountable, as attested to by my burning quads as I trudged up the red cinder cone that is the North Twin.  There were some stunted trees and on top of the crest we found we were actually walking on a crater rim with a grassy bowl where the crater would be.  On the other side of the bowl was the much higher South Twin and we continued there for lunch and gawkery.

The views were expansive and we could see Davis Lake, Crane Prairie Lake, and Wickiup Lake; all on the Cascade Lakes Highway.  Diamond Peak was prominent with Gold Lake right below and Maiden Peak likewise had Bobby Lake nestled at its feet.  There were a jumblage of peaks beyond Diamond Peak, extending all the way to Mount Thielsen and the Crater Lake rim.  To the north, the Three Sisters were partially hidden in the cloud cover but we had a nice view of the vast forest between us and the sisters.  Right below The Twins, Waldo Lake commanded our attention.  A chill arctic wind was blowing and jackets and windbreakers were donned, it truly felt like snow was near.

Fortunately, there was no precipitation despite the ominous skies and we had a dry hike back to the cars.  All in all, it was another great hike.

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