Friday, October 18, 2013

And So To Home

Morning saw us stowing our cooking gear for the last time. After a hike along the Obsidian Flow, 1.1 square miles of black glass rock and gray pumice left behind from an eruption roughly 12,000 years ago, we headed west toward Eugene and the way we'd come a week earlier.

Black glass obsidian and pumice as far as the eye could see.
I've hiked small bits of the Appalachian Trail that runs from Georgia to Maine. Now I can make that same claim about the Pacific Crest Trail. We walked a wee portion of it on our way into the forest to view Charlton Lake, a secluded wilderness campground. This whole trip centered around sharing B's favorite places. It makes living so far from my boy a tad easier when I can place him in the surroundings he describes in letters and phone calls.

Pacific Crest Trail
Ponderosa Pine
The forest was quiet, our footfalls silenced by fallen needles. Ponderosa Pines soared into the early morning blue and sunlight slanted through their trunks, making the woods a cathedral of light and occasional birdsong. The lake itself was small and surrounded on all sides by forest and mountain peaks. It was the most peaceful of places, remote, isolated, uninhabited. I could have stayed there forever.

Remote and beautiful Charlton Lake
The road home took us past the site of the 2003 Davis Fire that consumed 21,000 acres. Ten years later the area is still one of vast devastation. Dead trees stand like sentinels guarding a wasteland.

After 10 years, the desolation is still palpable.
Just before our final descent we rounded a corner. This is how I will remember the trip, this enclosed view of forest and volcanic peak promising astounding treasures if one only dared look beyond. I doubt I would be hardy enough to have made the trip west that the pioneers braved but oh! how their hearts must have soared at such beauty before them.


Tabor said...

I am surprised that there is such devastation still remaining after 10 years! It is usually starting new growth within a few years.

Out on the prairie said...

Some real nice land to explore, what beautiful pics

Pauline said...

Drought plays a big part in that, Tabor.

Thanks OOTP - it was a spectacular area.

Kerry said...

This is a gorgeous part of Oregon. I might have to look for Charlton Lake some day. We have favorite lakes too, and are always looking for others.

Oregon's forest fires are impressively devastating aren't they? It takes many years to recover in that thin volcanic soil, but eventually they do.

Brian Miller said...

its pretty cool to be able to put places to the ones described in letters....that is for sure...some lovely sights as well...