Sunday, August 27, 2006

Cedar Butte

Last weekend, we made another attempt at hiking to Cedar Butte. And this time, we made it!

We started out on the Iron Horse Trail and there were a lot of mountain bikers and since it was an old logging road or railroad grade, Heather didn't think it was real hiking.

The trail was a general incline up and Parker was getting a little impatient with it all. It wasn't like it was steep or anything. We stopped and ate the lunch that Chase made for us - nutella or peanut butter sandwhiches. I was lucky and got a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich. Just before we stopped for lunch, I came to the conclusion that a slight navigational error let us walk past the trail head and we needed to back track some.

Using the guidebook's descriptions as a reference and the topo map I had, I entered the coordinates of the trailhead in my GPS and we set off back down the trail. My GPS told me that we were at my waypoint about 10 feet from where the trailhead was - now why didn't I do that the first time?

Evidently, when we had passed it the first time, Heather had said, "I wonder where this goes?" But look at it, the markings are so slight... And the trail was very narrow; the brush on each side of the trail was always touching us. It looked like the trail hadn't been used in a very long time, the brush was so thick.

This trail was uphill and it was steeper than the first trail. But we put Parker in the lead and he moved at a good clip. The trail had some steps built into the steeper parts and moved us through the brush, always heading up.

At about 1300 feet, the low shrubberies thinned out, but Parker was ready to keep going. We had to stop here to put some moleskin around a hotspot developing on the back of Heather's foot, but that didn't stop us for long.

There were a final series of switchbacks to the "summit" (if you can call it that). Two surprising things occurred as we got close. First, Parker said "we must be close to the top, there are no more trees." How about that for the powers of observation of a four year old? Secondly, we heard people talking. After walking all that way, on a trail that didn't look used, there were poeople on top.

Parker lead the way up and was greeted by cheers and clapping from the people who were already there. I bet they didn't expect to see a 4 year old hike leader.

After eating some snacks and enjoying the view, we headed back down. We dallied in Boxley Creek for a while and then headed to the car, where there were cold cokes waiting for us.

It was fun to get out and go hiking - it was relaxing to get into the outdoors. It was great to actually make it this time.

My picture set on Flickr.
Somebody has put together a webpage about Hiking Cedar Butte.

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