Sometimes the weather makes you an offer you just can’t refuse. This was supposed to be an off weekend so Heather could rest after last weekends Eugene marathon, but the prospect of clear skies and 80 degree weather proved to be too enticing. We decided to sneak in a short hike to take advantage of the summer like conditions and chose Stahlman Point near Detroit Lake. We had started this hike a couple of times in years past but due to time constraints had never had made it to the summit viewpoint. The trail gains just over 1300 feet in 2.3 miles to the site of a former lookout tower.
The morning got off to a rocky start when I woke up 45 minutes after the alarm was to have gone off. Anyone familiar with the Sienfeld episode with the marathon runner should know it was the volume. Luckily we always get everything we can ready the night before a hike so after a bit of scrambling we were off at our normal time and were hiking by 6:30am.
There were several types of wildflowers in bloom including trillium, sourgrass, yellow wood violets, and our first encounter with fairyslippers.
It was still too early for the rhododendron and beargrass blooms but they were both starting to show buds and in a few weeks should be putting on quite a display. The trail offered a few glimpses of Detroit Lake and the ridges of the Willamette Forest beyond. A small spring trickles across the trail near the 2 mile mark. It then ends at a rocky viewpoint that was once home to a fire lookout. Here among the rocks were several other types of flower including a single penstemon that we nearly missed hiding at the base of an outcropping.
The viewpoint provided a clear view of Mt. Jefferson to the northeast. A lone cloud hovered over it’s summit and seemed to refuse to budge from it’s perch.
Several birds joined us while we had a quick snack and took in the view before heading back down to the car for our drive home.