Cowhorn Mountain - September 23, 2017
Coordinator John Malone, narration and pictures by Bill Riley

Saturday morning 9 Friends of the Umpqua traveled up highway 138 to Windigo Pass Trailhead. The group was led by John.  Club Regulars were Rheo, Edwin, Dr Wendy, Goaying and her daughter Emma, age 7. Newcomers were Brad and Chealsy.

We started hiking at approximately 10am. Snow was on the ground but it was fairly dry and about 2-4 inches deep. The sky was clear and we actually saw sunshine once in a while–ideal for hiking. As we got higher, the snow got deeper. Goaying, Wendy and I stopped just past noon and just short of the crest below Cowhorn. We ate lunch there then started back to the car. John and the rest of the crew continued on. Brad and Rheo were the next to stop at about the saddle. Chealsy. John, Edwin and Dr. Wendy continued on but I doubt they reached the top.

Edwin reported the snow was about 6-8 inches deep towards the top with drifts hip-deep. There were quite a few elk tracks in the snow and tracks that might have been rabbits. John pointed out where the elk had scratched away snow to find grass to eat.  As we returned to the cars the snow was starting to drip off the trees and snow on the ground was turning to slush. We reached the cars at 2:30pm.

We saw very little fire damage on our hike, however there was a fair amount between highway 138 mile posts 48 and 54. Interestingly, a tree was burnt almost completely but those around it were not touched. Larger areas were burned further up on the hillsides. The roads were perfectly clear and looked like most of the forestry/fire fighters had headed back to town.


 

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