This is a transplant entry from my other blog but I thought people would find interest since this is a local hike. The hike starts at the Teepee Trailhead near the Godman Campground in the Blue Mountains above Dayton. It’s especially fun in the summer because there is a fire lookout that is manned during fire season. If you’d like more info or directions to this hike, just send me a note.
We decided to head for the mountains on a small backpacking trip. We loaded our packs on our backs and started up the trail. We got to the primitive campsite within an hour and a half. (with a lesson learned by Justin to wear at least ankle socks, not foot socks so as to prevent blisters!) There is a spring just a quarter mile from the campsite for our water needs. There was another hiker at the trailhead so we tried to keep a steady pace to get to the campsite and stake our claim. We’ve been there twice before and it is a nice setup among the trees with a great view out our backdoor over the Blue Mountains.
Oregon Butte is the highest point in the Blues. At the top is a fire lookout that is staffed during the summer. We went to the lookout where they keep watch during fire season. We got to see the firewatch equipment and the boys even helped with some meteorological measurements. The sunset from the lookout was beautiful. We also went on a day hike. We had tried to find another spring on a previous trip but were unsuccessful. We headed out, through some thick brush that was fed by springs. We even found huckleberries along the trail (Nate spotted those). The boys favorite pasttime on the trip was rolling rocks down the hill. They would really gather a lot of speed! We hiked along the trail and got to an area where the skeleton of an elk camp was located.
On our way back from the day hike, we heard some loud rustling just down the hill from the trail. I figured the boys had just rolled another rock but, when I turned and looked, I saw a large bear high-tailing it away from us. It was a big, golden-brown colored bear. Nate saw it too but Justin and Cade had to take our word for it. We decided to take a bit tougher route on the way back to camp. It took us up this jagged, rocky ridgetop that put us back at the fire lookout. From there, it was about a half mile back to camp. We had a good time enjoying the great outdoors.