Continued greetings from Oregon. For Father’s Day our posse took a hike to the top of Spencer’s Butte, which is probably the most prominent landmark in Eugene, at least according to this site. Eugene is not what you’d call an urban city, but it was still nice to get out in the woods and the fresh air.
The hike to the summit (just over 2,000 feet above sea level) was only a mile and a half according to the map, and we were all probably certain that the map had overestimated. Most of the hike was gradual climbing, but there were places that qualified as “bouldering” and poor, flatlander Pablo struggled on. (The hills of Roundrock really don’t prepare one for ascents like these.)
The summit was a bare, rocky prominence with a view in all directions that easily reached fifty miles. The sun was shining and the intermittent winds were refreshing. But it was the forest of the ascent that left the strongest impression on me. I don’t know the names of the trees of the Pacific Northwest, but they sure don’t grow them like this where I come from. Goodness they are big things. Forest giants compared to my experience. Many trees, scattered frequently along the trail, would take the joined hands of half a dozen people to reach around the trunk. And ferns grew rampantly in the duff on the forest floor. Compared to the ferns we have at Roundrock, these were giants as well.
I was sucking air most of the time, and descents, while generally faster, have always proven to be far more difficult for old Pablo. (Footing must be surer, each step is a stop, and progressive lenses in your glasses don’t tend to give you a focused view of the ground beneath your feet.)
But it was an excellent Father’s Day, followed by more eating and general slouching in soft chairs.
- American toad tadpoles metamorphose into toadlets, leave water.