Sunday, September 17, 2006

Mary's Peak

Today I decided to go for a hike up Mary's Peak, the tallest mountain in the coastal range at 4,098 feet and only 30 minutes drive from Corvallis.  I drove the road up (very cool winding road with banked turns) to the Connors Campground parking lot and then hiked up from there as Jason had suggested in my Keene Sandals.  It was a 3 mile hike through some of the most beautiful forest I've Cimg5919
ever hiked through.  The trail was very flat (there are no roots in trails out here like the northeast) with berries everywhere.  It was like a buffet along the trail.  The trail is also a mountain biking trail which I discovered when several downhillers went blowing by me coming down from the summit.  The trees on the slope of the mountain, red cedars and douglas firs, had the traditional Pacific NorthwestCimg5929a
reddish hue to them, which mixed with the bright green vegetation of the moist coast and clear blue skies made for a beautiful assortment of colors.  The trees are also enormous... I'm talking like 150 feet or higher... they seem to just reach for the skies with their bases being atleast 8-15 feet in diameter.  As I hiked up the switchbacks on the east ridge trail I passed from open strands of huge cedars and first to grassy meadows, and even a very cool old-growth forest before breaking out to the open meadow of the Cimg5936
summit.  The road goes almost all the way to the summit so there were families with young children running around in the grass at the top.  There were great views over the Willamette Valley towards Jefferson (huge volcano in distance).  I hung out on the summit for a little while before deciding to literally run back down the smooth trail to my truck which only took about 20 minutes.  I tightened up my keenes and let loose down the trail, legs and knees burning the whole way.  I got to within sight of my truck when.. WHAM! I fell face first onto the path skinning the palm of my hand... damnit...Cimg5942 well, atleast there wasn't any hot girls around to see me like usual... haha... I through a band aid on in my truck and drove home.... It only took about 2.5 -3 hours for the trip but it was very rewarding
at the top and I can't wait to go back and hit the trails on my mountain bike!  Oh... and I almost hit some wild turkeys crossing the road on the way home... :)


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