There is a trail in Oregon famous for wildflowers that is called Cone Peak. Lee, Dante and I made the gorgeous drive up south Santiam to hike Cone Peak today, but when we got there it was so crowded that once we parked and found a map, we immediately left to look for a more secluded trail.
We continued along south Santiam until we noticed Echo Basin Trail, located at the end of a two mile gravel road. Turns out, people don’t usually like to drive two miles up gravel road. We were one of two cars when we reached the entrance, and the only car when we emerged.
It was gorgeous, educational, only two miles overall and difficult! Elevation rose quite a bit, so most of the way up was up up UP. But it was worth it. We saw fiddle heads (edible nettles), Columbine flowers, pitch (tree sap–flammable), stood high on the mountain, and had an apple and some soda, and saw some of the most amazing views. See for yourself; the following images haven’t been altered or edited in any way, and were taken with a simple tablet camera.
We drove home using north Santiam, since Lee says she learned from her father to take a different route back since you’ve already seen the way there. Oregon is such a beautiful place. Mountains in the spring are mushy on the top, but even then, drenched feed and mud all over my legs, almost fainting from heat, bugs buzzing around, it was beautiful. And I guarantee you, years or even months from now, I won’t remember the bugs, or not being able to tell if I had to pee or not due to dehydration, I’m going to remember what it felt like to look around and see mountain. Endless green mountain.