2019 Adventures

2019 was a good year in spite of spraining an ankle in early May. As is usual for me, I didn’t take enough time off to let it heal properly and eventually had to slow way down for the rest of the year. As a result, my mileage was way down from last year but still I logged 731 miles and 220,375 vertical feet for 2019. (As opposed to 1,263 miles and 337,260 vertical for 2018.)

I’m only counting hikes in the woods for the above, but did a lot of other wandering about. My Fitbit logged 1,908 miles for the year and 276,360 vertical feet. (A Costco visit can tally up a mile or more if one wanders the entire store so misc. shopping, housekeeping and garden work is where most of the extra mileage comes in.) Since I live in a three story house, it’s easy for me to get 100 and sometimes even 200 feet EG in a day by doing housework. Here’s what Fitbit said: The bar graph indicates average steps per day for each week of the year. Calorie count indicates calories burned while not at rest or asleep. Fitbit counts a “floor” as 10 feet elevation gain (EG).

Taking it fairly easy for the summer and fall, at least as far as distance goes, I managed to do 32 days of trail work sawing out about 400 trees across five different trail systems. (I’m counting only trees about 4” in diameter or more.) – Some were over two feet though. Most of those hikes were short due to carrying gear so that’s another reason my mileage was down.
I hiked/climbed 42 peaks but only 11 new-to-me. Those 11 included some really fun outings such as Black Mt., Pechuck Lookout, Triangle Peak and a side trip to Boca Cave, Goosenest (in Northern CA) and Iron/Cone/Echo and North Peak. These last all located a little north of Hwy 20 and west of Santiam Pass.

All told, I was out hiking for 135 days, 61 days solo and 74 days with companions.

A few pictures of 2019 highlights:

January: Cook Hill: Jan. 19th



























Cook Hill with Paul, Jan. 25th

February: Oregon coast in the snow (!), Ecola state park, Feb. 4th:

Cascade Locks in a snowstorm – with Kelly, Feb. 12th

Hamilton Mt. with Kelly, Feb. 25


Nick Eaton ridge with Paul, March 1st.

St. Patrick’s Day snowshoe on Mt. Hood – with a snow monster I made:

Back to Nick Eaton Ridge via Sentinel Ridge – with Ben and Elizabeth, March 21st:

April: Sentinel Ridge again, Grass Widows, April 12th:

Having some fun bouldering off Herman Creek with Kelly, April 14th:

The black car hits a milestone, April 14th

Paul and I do some trail work on Prindle, April 24th:

Kelly and I check out the north side of Prindle Mt., May 12th

We found this very interesting old bus, abandoned in the woods:

On May 30, Susan and I checked out the new trails on lower Archer Creek:

Silver Star, north ridge, June 3rd:

Kel on Ed’s Trail, Silver Star Mt., June 3rd.

Crater Lake, July 8th

Kelly finds a cool old farmhouse to explore on the way back from our eastern Oregon hike:

August: Black Mt. Aug. 3rd with Nat and Ben:


Aug. 10: Suz gets rocks for her garden from a quarry near Santiam pass.

Aug. 19th, Kel and I do some trail clearing on Augspurger Mt.

Aug. 26th, Triangle Peak:

We also checked out Boca Cave near Triangle Peak: This thing is huge! Check out the next photo.

Here’s a photo of the inside of the cave:

Tipsoo Peak on my birthday, Sept. 7th. The little point in the center is Howlock Mt. and the big one on the right is Mt. Thielsen.

Our first snow hike of the year: September 30th (!) to Lake Wapiki, Indian heaven:

October: The new stove is in and doing its job!

Kel on Cook Hill, October 27th:

November: The old SUV get retired and a new one takes its place – November 6th:

The Black Car goes for its last adventure – Detroit lake on Nov. 22nd:

Exploring Detroit Lake: It’s lowest level in the 67 years since it was first filled: November 22nd:


We explore a few more peaks near Detroit:

Kel hiking up Timber Butte:

The venerable Black Car does its final heavy lifting: A few more rocks for Susan’s rock garden:


Mt. Jefferson from Timber Butte, Nov. 22nd:

December: One last trip to Detroit Lake on the 8th and 9th. Mt. Jefferson from Stahlman Point:

Summit of Stahlman point:

One final look at the newly revealed objets ‘d art at Detroit reservoir:

The final hike of the year – a trip on December 30th to the Multnomah Basin to see if the ’31 Buick survived the 2017 fires – it did!

There’s a long story connected to this car: It was likely driven to this location sometime in the forties and used as a power source for a portable sawmill. Buicks of this era had straight eight engines with lots of torque. Over the years parts were slowly removed and the car was lost in the foliage and only a few people from the Trails Club knew of its existence. It’s far enough from any old road or trail that its location passed from memory.

In 2005 I was hiking farther up on Larch Mountain and ran into a guy exploring an old steam-era RR grade and we started talking about things we’ve found in the woods. He asked me if I knew about or had found any of the old cars in the Multnomah Basin. I, of course, was interested and he told me a story about trying to take an old car’s engine out and taking it to Benson High where he was enrolled in an automotive class. This was in 1971 or ’72 and he said he had successfully taken the engine out, requisitioned a firewood cart from the Trails Club’s Nesika Lodge (about 1 mile away) and tried to haul it down to where he could get a car to it. He ran out of daylight and was going to come back later but couldn’t find the cart and engine again. Hearing this, I thought it would be fun challenge to find the car, and if I was lucky, maybe the cart and engine too.

With modern GPS technology, one can do a grid search of an area and know just where you’ve been before, so you don’t re-do an area and also don’t miss an area. I did just that and after few hours of exploring, found the car. Using details found on the car’s remains I was able to, with certainty, determine that it was a 1931 Buick model 47 four-door sedan. I took another trip to find the engine and find it I did only 400 feet away. No wonder the man I talked to couldn’t find it: he’d gone in the wrong direction from the old road and was looking in the wrong area.





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