Date: April 5, 2018
Place: Siskiyou-Cascade National Monument, Ashland, Oregon
Coordinates: 42.086423, -122.481888
Length: 2.5 miles
Level: easy to moderate
Last spring break we took the opportunity to explore the Klamath area - a region of California that we had never been to before. For three days we camped and hiked along the river and had beautiful weather. When we left the Klamath to Yreka the weather changed to overcast and rainy. The next couple of days we were planing to hike the Siskiyou-Cascade National Monument in southern Oregon. There was rain in the forecast but it was so for all of of the West Coast and it was pointless to divert our planned route.
When we left Yreka in the morning of April 5 it was cloudy, but not rainy. The drive on I-5 was quick but then we had a very slow drive through the narrow and winding mountain roads leading to the Siskiyou-Cascade. By the time we arrived at the trailhead I wanted - that of Hobart Bluff - it was raining again. Moreover - there was snow still on the ground. Large patches of it.
Here, in contrast of what we saw at the Grinder Creek segment, the trail was completely clear of fallen logs and very easy to tread. Mostly.
|Hobart Bluff Trail/PCT|
After less than mile we reached the fork that detached from the PCT, leading us uphill toward the bluff. There wasn't any snow there anymore, and the rain intensified and weakened every few step, so I kept my little camera under my coat for most of the way.
Whenever the rain eased a bit I risked pulling my camera out and taking photos of the view. Many of the photos came out blurry, either because of poor lighting or because of an annoying droplet that got to the lens. I had to wipe it frequently. Still, I got a good augmentation of my memories of this area.
For the most park our hike felt like walking inside a thick, wet cloud. The rain wasn't strong, but it was incessant. The ground was soaked, but luckily not muddy. The light volcanic soil absorbed the rain, wicking it away from the surface. Despite the heavy moisture there was hardly any surface runoff. Wisps of cloud rose from the ground like ghosts between the trees. The colors were intense, the vegetation greens contrasting with the dark, earthy browns of the rocks and soil, and the occasional rusty red shrubs.
|View northeast from Hobart Bluff|
We were surprised to find a couple of other people on the summit, mainly because until then we had the impression of being the only humans in the area. They were coming up to the summit just as we were going down, and seemed unsure if the trail. We reassured them that they were on the right track and continued downhill.
In the Siskiyou-Cascade spring was just beginning. The snow was melting and the grasses greening up. It was way too early to be expecting any sort of a bloom show, but there were a few ephemerals about, little and unassuming. they were also very difficult to photograph, especially with the lesser camera I was using on that hike. I did try my best, though.
The forecast for the morrow was rainy still, and stronger too. Now I had plenty of time in the hotel to figure out what to do on the next day. Already on the way to Ashland my mind kept going to the one rain-protected hike possibility - underground. Where there any worthy caves in the area? I should find out.