Tag Archives: National Forest

Timberline Trail Day 1

MOUNT HOOD NATIONAL FOREST

Activity: Multi Day Backpacking Trip

42 miles, 10,630’ elevation gain, 4 days out, rated HARD

Date: 6/7-10/22

I soldiered through the blisters, blood, sweat and tears. The panting with each footfall became moaning with each step by each day’s end.  The accomplishment of the endeavor and the beauty of the mountain made up for the pain and suffering which of course just added to the adventure of it all. 

Although this was my most aggressive backpacking trip as far as days out, distance and elevation gain, I was with a fellow adventurer so at least I was not alone.  The other person on the trek, a Through Hiker who has hiked over 800 miles on the AZ Trail this year and a year or so ago completed the PCT, is a hiking friend from LA.  Anthony King a Bar Tender and Photographer flew in for the event and I picked him up at the Portland Airport. I have backpacked with Anthony once before. He is much younger than I so I was a little apprehensive about hiking with him, not wanting to hold him up.  Turns out he hikes at his own pace.  You either keep up or fall behind, your choice.  So the way that we handled it was we hiked together some of the time, but generally we enjoyed oneness with the mountain.  We met up for some of the breaks, as Anthony would take an extended break to allow me to catch up and I would have an abbreviated stop.

Day 1

10 Miles with 2,800’ Elevation Gain

Wednesday, Sept 7th, at 8AM we set out past Timberline Lodge to circumnavigate Oregon’s magnificent Mt Hood counterclockwise on the amazing Timberline Trail under mostly sunny skies. The days were to be mild and the nights just a little chilly so really tremendous conditions to take on one of the best backpacking trips in America.  Meandering through fields of wildflowers, in and out of wooded areas, spectacular views of Mt Jefferson, passed a couple small crossings of rushing water and waterfalls was how we spent the day.  Hoping across rocks is a little tricky with a heavy pack, but we managed to stay dry.  Now we climb… 10 miles and over 2,800’ elevation gain much of it up loose, steep, sandy, and crumbly material known as scree. We bedded down past Lamberson Butte near an old shelter with unreal views of the peak of Mt Hood right out my tent flap. 

Make sure to CLICK THE PIC and see the water features in motion.
Pursuing Balance Through Adventure YouTube Channel.
Our Timberline Trail adventure began at Timberline Lodge.
Majestic Mount Jefferson
Sundown on Mt Hood

Thanks for joining Anthony and I on this awesome adventure, the circumnavigation of Mount Hood where we found ourselves ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. This is the beginning of a four part expose of our backpacking trek of arguably the Best Hike in America. You can checkout Timberline Trail Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 here. You will want to stay tuned and you can do so by a few simple tasks: LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW and SHARE. If you care to peruse the menu above you will discover that PBTA travels extensively throughout the great West in hopes of inspiration and recommendations of glorious outing in nature, as we can all use a little break from our everyday ho hum lives. If you have a thirst for top quality Adventure Wear then quench it at SHOP APPAREL.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Mount McLoughlin

Winema National Forest / Sky Lakes Wilderness

Activity: Backpacking, Peak Bagging

Fish Lake to Mount McLouglin Summit: 9,495’ elevation, Distance: approximately 17 miles, over 5,000’ elevation gain, 12 hour duration, rated VERY HARD

Date: 10/6-8/21

Mount McLoughlin is located in Southern Oregon. It lies south of Crater Lake and well North of Mount Shasta in Northern California which can easily be seen from the summit. Mount McLoughlin is a steep sided dormant volcano, part of the High Cascades Volcanic Arc and dominates the Medford Oregon horizon.

The area is heavily forested, and the journey along the well kept trail is absolutely gorgeous. It is a steady incline which becomes steeper and rockier about a third of the way in, but let me assure you that is only the beginning. The last 20% of this adventure is rock scrambling up talus broken boulders and at the very top portion of this trek add scree, which at least made the climb something different.

The altitude was beginning to affect me making it more difficult for me to catch my breath, and tiring me out quicker, making it necessary for me to take frequent breaks for a moment or so. However, this provided an excellent chance to enjoy the breathtaking views. (Breathtaking… notice my choice of words there?) Once above the tree line a blanket of green lay out before us with multiple blue lakes dotting the landscape.

We made it to a view point that provided stunning views of wilderness far and near. We were filled with awe and delight of the bowl area with it’s hues of beige, tan, and brown. We then cast our eyes on high, above the bowl to the massive jagged peaks of Mount McLoughlin. At that point I found looking up at the lonely rugged peaks quite discouraging as it made it quite plain just how far we still had yet to go.

My Through Hiker buddy Ahmed fresh from a few weeks on the trail, plus much younger than I, was starting to realize that this pace was not what he was accustom to. I finally signaled him to just go on ahead, and take my iPhone mostly for picture opportunities, but also GPS Location and what normally would have been GPS Tracking.

You see in an effort to introduce me to the ulta-lite world of a Through Hiker, all well intended I might add, costly errors were made. One such mistake was my two battery packs were shed from my pack. Ahmed’s iPhone died and he did not have his ultra light battery as it turned out, so we were rationing the usage of my iPhone only turning it on and checking my GPS APP occasionally. To see the other hardships emptying my pack put us in go to my ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure Hiking and Backpacking 101’ post ”When a Through Hiker Repacks Your Pack”.

It seemed no matter how much climbing I did the peak was only getting further and further away. Disheartened I signaled Ahmed on the rocks up above that I was done. However… I hate quitting so I thought I might as well continue on at a more meager pace in the mean time as Ahmed kept climbing for the summit. After awhile I saw that the boulders changed to scree, while not optimal hiking it was different and I needed the break of at least different both mentally as well as physically.

Finally I came up over a rise hoping this wasn’t another false top with still further to trudge, but there was Ahmed setting up a summit photo shoot. We celebrated that we had both accomplished the mountain top goal! He made a point that because it was hard it felt like we had done something special. Of course, we were only half done with the adventure and since the footing was treacherous going down it would still be slow going until the path leveled out far below. (For the rest of the story and the difficulty we placed ourselves in see: “When a Through Hiker Repacks Your Pack.”)

The views from the summit of this rugged mountain were superb, shadows of mountains in the distance including Mount Shasta, multiple blue lakes, and wonderful wilderness, as far as the eye could see, filled the senses. We had indeed done something special.

The bowl area of McLoughlin
Summit Celebration
“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” – Edward Abbey
Pursuing Balance Through Adventure YouTube Channel

Thanks for joining Ahmed and myself as we found ourselves ’Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ atop Mount McLoughlin. Ahmed purposely made our trek more of an adventure adding miles on, but when that was coupled with a few unforeseen errors, (See “When a Through Hiker Repacks Your Pack”), it fell just short of an Ordeal. I discovered that the difference between Ordeal and Adventure is Attitude. As I struggled up the mountain I did not always have the best attitude, but I never gave up and because of this I found some of that needed balance that we seek when stepping out of the anxiety of our everyday existence and into a world of wonder that profound experiences in Nature provides. For more journeys into the wilderness, and thus journeys into ourselves stay tuned by doing these simple tasks: LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW and SHARE. For other locations that PBTA travels to please see the menu above. Each is location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. For high quality adventure wear please see the PBTA Store SHOP APPAREL.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Clear Lake Trail

WILLAMETTE NATIONAL FOREST

Activity: Day Hike

5.8 miles. 318′ elevation gain, 3 hour duration, rated Easy

I visited Clear Lake basically as recon for the future. My Fraternity brother Bruce was giving me the grand tour of Central Oregon and I am afraid that we did not have time to squeeze this hike in. I can tell you of the short portion of the trail that I was on, snapping a few quick pics, it looked like a beautiful spot. The trail was gorgeous with big heavy timber, the blue Clear Lake was so tranquil, and Mount Washington in the back ground framed the area perfectly. It appears that in a non Covid-19 year this would be a pretty popular spot and it is easy to see why.

I am always outside on the inside.

Sadly enough this was the last of my Summer Adventures with my fraternity brother Bruce, who took me trekking around Central Oregon. It was so grand! Thanks so much bro! I can hardly wait until together we once again find ourselves ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’! Followers of PBTA you don’t have to wait because if you look at the Menu above you will find many adventures that you might want to go explore yourselves. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. Speaking of FOLLOWING please LIKE, SHARE, COMMENT, and FOLLOW. Also checkout SHOP APPAREL for all of your Adventure Wear needs it’s all top quality.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursing Balance Through Adventure

Iron Mountain Trail

WILLAMETTE NATIONAL FOREST

CASCADIA, OREGON

Activity: Day Hike, Peak Bagging

Distance: 4.5 miles, elevation: 5,476’, 1,276’ elevation gain, >2 hours duration, rated Hard

Date: 6-4-20

“Iron Mountain is a large jagged rock, situated in very rough country,” was an early description of this adventure describing the perch over looking the Santiam portion of the Willamette National Forest. It would be used at different times over the years as a fire lookout and it would be destroyed more than once by heavy snow, high winds, and wildfire.

We were on Iron Mountain early Summer of 2020. There were a good amount of wildflowers decorating the landscape and to be sure this spot is well know for it’s flowers due to the rich soil. The biggest bloom, I understand, takes place in July, but even just after snow melt the flowers ’Spring’ to life and there are blooms through out the Summer.

The day that my college fraternity brother Bruce introduced me to this splendid hike was a warm Summer Oregon day with a mixture of blue skies and whimsical clouds. The hike found us ambling through quiet forests, thick with wondrous fir trees, as well as green meadows dotted with beautiful wildflowers. Then on to some switch backs, passed scraggy volcanic rock, a left over section of snow, and then out on the top with fabulous views of lush evergreens as far as the eye could see, with boundless layers of mountainous ridges, and snowy peaks far in the distance.

Sadly late in the Summer the area was besieged once again by wildfire, and as of this late posting, (Oct 2020), it is closed for that reason.

Oh worrisome thoughts of what has become of this tranquil place. The kind of place that one might find balance from an otherwise over worked, over stressed, over political world that – oh yeah just happens to be smack dab in a pandemic, with a side of firestorm to boot. Prayers for the firefighters, prayers for Mother Nature, prayers for us all.

Hey thanks for joining my fraternity bro Bruce and myself on this joyous journey in nature, while ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. Don’t forget to COMMENT, FOLLOW, LIKE and SHARE. There is still more coming up in regards to Beautiful, Fabulous, Wonderful Oregon and if you go to the menu above you will discover that PBTA goes to many spectacular locations to give you inspiration. You don’t need to thank me, that’s my job. Speaking of which, if you would like to support PBTA then I just got a big shipment of T-Shirts: (thinking that maybe you don’t need the best, top quality gear maybe you just want a darn T-Shirt, well then boom gotcha covered) SHOP APPAREL.

Checkout the Free Drawing for Free PBTA Merch which runs through 11-15-20.  

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Black Butte

CAMP SHERMAN, OREGON

DESCHUTES NATIONAL FOREST

Activity: Day Hike, Peak Bagging

4 miles, 6,436’ elevation, 1,538’ elevation change, 3 hour duration, rated Moderate

June 4, 2020

Black Butte Trail is a fun and popular hike in Central Oregon not far from Bend. The views along the way are worth the price of admission, which by the way you will need an America the Beautiful or other more local pass for parking. Like many of the mountains in the area Black Butte has volcanic origins. It is an extinct stratovolcano.

Your hike starts out in beautiful lush green forest. Enjoy the shade while you can as you will climb out of the forest and that will be the end of the shade. The views from Black Butte are utterly amazing along much of the hike. Even the forest provides peak-a-boo glimpses to spur you on along the trail. On top the Cascades come into full view and they are outstanding. Tam McArther Rim, Broken Top, the Sisters, Mount Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Mount Jefferson, Mount Hood, and Mount Adams all laid out before you like the most lavish banquet for the soul.

Tam McArthur Rim, South and North Sister is blocking Middle Sister, and Belknap Crater
Three Fingered Jack through the firs.
“There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature.”-Henry David Thoreau
Black Butte

I appreciate you joining my good friend Bruce and I as we found ourselves drinking from the cup of replenishment ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ with the Cascade Mountains on display in all their splendor. To take in so much beauty all at once is almost staggering. Nature has a way of bringing that needle back into balance offsetting our hectic lives and that is exactly what PBTA is all about. There is much more to come. Be sure to COMMENT, FOLLOW, SHARE, and LIKE. Stop by SHOP APPAREL and gear up and then get your boots dusty. Need a place to go? Checkout the menu above each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure