North Bank Habitat - December 31, 2011
Coordinator Lois Soulia, narration by Lois Soulia and pictures by Bill Riley and Richard O'Neill

On December 31, 2011, The Friends of the Umpqua Hiking club did their annual hike on the North Bank Habitat to celebrate the coming new year.  Eight members met in the usual place at the Douglas Co. parking lot, later meeting  four others in the parking lot of the West trailhead of the North Bank Habitat.  Unfortunately Diane, Nettie and friend didn’t make connections so they had their separate hike following the footsteps of the earlier hikers.

The weeks before the hike were cold, wet and foggy with no sun in sight day after day.  This day started out a bit foggy but the fog burned off as hikers gained altitude and they could see for miles. The patches of fog covered the valleys like a white ocean with tendrils curling up like waves so all that was visible were the tips of mountains and hills and the wonderful winter sun shining on those who braved the fog and climbed for the view.

The hikers, not including Diane’s party, started at the East entrance. The first couple of miles were a steady climb on a drivable road and because of the unusual weather year of little rain, the mud was not a problem. The group split at the top with eight ambitious hikers going the longer route which was about 7 miles in length. Four took the shorter route, about 5 miles in length.  The views were spectacular with an especially good view of Scott Mountain near Glide. The temperature was perfect for hiking.  Best of all was the feeling of well being gained from being in the sun rather than in the fog like the non-hikers of the county.

After the hike eight adjourned to Lois's home near Wilbur for hot soup, crackers with goat cheese, homemade cookies and ice cream. After taking the consensus of the New Year’s plans of members of the group, it could be said that this lunch was the most party most of them had for New Year’s Eve.

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