Bullpup Lake and Beyond - October 26, 2013
Coordinator Jane Flewelling, narration by Jane Flewelling and pictures by Richard O’Neill.

Short Hike, 4.1 miles, with elevation gain of 750.
Long Hike, 8 miles, 1,100 elevation gain.

Fourteen eager hikers gathered at the Bullpup trailhead. With back packs and hiking sticks secured, we started out on the slightly upward trail, winding through the mountain hemlock forest. After a brief stop near a “teepee” made out of 6 foot long logs cut from a disassembled shelter that used to be there for hikers, hunters and campers, we followed the trail around shallow Bullpup Lake. Rhododendrons grow nearly all around the perimeter, then the trail gradually climbs through the hemlocks with its under-story dominated by rhodies and bear grass. Some of us commented that we should come back in late spring to see the gorgeous pink rhodie blossoms along with the striking pyramidal white flowers of the bear grass. Occasional various mushrooms and other fungi on logs, tree trunks and even in the middle of the trail drew our attention.

As the trail climbed gradually, we got glimpses of a large long rocky outcropping through the trees. Upon reaching the 620 foot elevation gain mark, we stepped out on top of the rocks where we looked down upon Bullpup Lake and the mountain ranges beyond. After weaving our way up through the next half mile of the forest- enveloped trail, we come to a super viewpoint on a smaller rock outcropping on top of a cliff. In the view to the north, the Three Sisters and the snowy Mt. Jefferson can be seen. Some of us enjoyed a leisurely lunch and then started back.

The rest of the party continued on to see Bulldog Rock. When we reached the spot on the trail where we would turn off and scramble up to the viewpoint of Bulldog Rock, we tied an orange streamer onto a branch to help find the way back, hoping to see Bulldog Rock from closer up. We continued on to a large side-hill meadow where we enjoyed our lunch with a nice view of mountains to the west.

Back on the trail, we followed it until we saw more blue sky between the trees. We bushwhacked up through the trees to see if we’d have a close-up view of Bulldog Rock. NO CHANCE! Further down the trail we tried again, SORRY! The third time we tried, a rocky top was found and enjoyed because we saw the mountains to the east and south, but no sign of the monolithic, illusive Bulldog Rock. It was disappointing but all were up to the challenge. Next time we’ll be prepared with a topographic map and compass.

We waltzed down the trail, content with having a great connection with each other and nature.

An added bonus came for the “Long Hikers” who arrived at the trailhead later than the others. They got a sighting of two cougars on the way home. The sighting of a rarely seen animal was a perfect end to a great hike.

Richard O'Neill's Flickr Album

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