Stukel Mountain P2K
Hogg Rock

Thu, Aug 17, 2017

With: Jackie Burd

Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPXs: 1 2


Day 2 of our roadtrip saw Jackie and I with lots of driving to get across Oregon. We were camped in the van near the top of Stukel Mountain which provided us with a nice overlook of the Klamath Falls area, a sky full of stars and a pretty remote location where we expected we could sleep undisturbed. Unfortunately, Jackie's sleep was anything but undisturbed as she found herself nauseous and needing to throw up in the middle of the night. Four times, in fact, starting around 11p and then three more times almost on the hour until the last episode around 2a. She was very good about it, quietly getting up each time and making her deposit outside the van. I guessed the kale salad with blue cheese dressing from the Dennys in Klamath Falls was the culprit. She was finally able to settle down to sleep after 2a and we didn't get up until 7a that morning, well after the sun had risen. She was weak from the incident, but would feel much better after breakfast.

It was windy and cold as we hiked the 200ft or so up to the highpoint of Stukel Mountain. The mountain made a neat shadow over the plains to the west with smoke obscuring far views in all directions. Various telcom installations dot the summit areas along the ridgeline. The six mile gravel road to the summit was in good condition, and though a few sections were somewhat steep, the van had little trouble. It was even easier driving back down after our short visit to the summit. We drove back to Klamath Falls and then north on US97 towards Bend. We stopped along the way to visit Lava River Cave south of Bend. I had visited this USFS attraction more than a decade earlier when Matthew and I were doing some of the Oregon volcanoes. Much has changed since then - they now have full-time rangers stationed there to give a talk about white-nose bat syndrome, a fungus that has been the cause of much concern since 2006. And the fee in that time has only gone from $5 to $8 per car (Federal Lands Annual Pass no good here). We walked the length of this large cave (nearly a mile) from one end to the other over the course of an hour, along with more than a hundred others in variously-sized parties. The USFS rents 1000 lumen spot lights for five bucks and these could really light up the cave. Our headlamps were rather weak by comparison but they worked. The temperature inside the cave is 42F - low enough to see your breath as you hike and cold enough that our fingertips were numb for much of the outing. It felt good to reemerge in the 80F sunshine afterwards.

We drove through Bend without stopping, choosing Sisters for lunch (at the same place I dined with Bob Sumner when we did North Sister, coincidentally) before heading to Black Butte a few miles from town. This P2K has a good road leading to a TH for an easy hike but we found the road blocked to vehicle traffic five miles from the TH. Seems they don't want folks causing any more fires and they think this is a place one might start. What? Really? Just reading the signs. Anyway, it was closed until Aug 22 and we didn't feel like hiking 14mi. So we ended up doing a short outing to Hogg Rock, a few miles west of Santiam Pass just off US20. We could have made a much easier outing of it had we realized there was closer access, but we'd turned off at the sno-park to the east and started from there. Some mild cross-country took us west past some buildings, some occupied, others not, before stumbling on the the closer road we could have used. This road goes to an old quarry NE of the summit area, leaving the last 1/3mi as another cross-country effort. Much of the area was burned over in past fires, leaving a mix of healthy and burned trees to navigate through. To the north could be seen Three Fingered Jack while to the south could be seen Mt. Washington and a large fire burning on the east slopes of the Sisters. There was no obvious highpoint to Hogg Rock that we could discern, but we visited several likely points including the one given on LoJ. We considered making a much shorter return to the highway by dropping down the west side, but I decided that was too steep and brushy to make it worthwhile - we returned much the same way but taking the closer road out to the highway an walking US20 back to the car to avoid the initial cross-country section.

More driving. We navigated US20 west to SR22, taking the latter north and west to Detroit Lake. This large reservoir sits very close to the eclipse centerline and we checked it out for possible viewing sites on Monday. There are three campgrounds along the southside road, curiously named Blowout Rd. All of them had signs indicating "FULL" with every campsite reserved for 3-5 days leading up to the event. Seems we were not the first to find this a good location. The nearby town of Detroit had a small general store we visited for some ice cream. All was chaotic inside as the proprietors were busy restocking shelves with eclipse t-shirts, other mementos and regular supplies. Buying a couple of ice cream bars seemed an inconvenience to them with stuff littered about the floors and other stuff piled haphazardly, looking for someplace to go. We continued east to Salem where we had dinner. Googling "Soup Salem" (Jackie wanted soup) turned up the vietnamese Super Pho where we dined. We spent an hour in Starbucks afterwards so that Dad could make a plan for the next day. Around 9p we headed west on SR22 again, another hour's driving to get us to Gauldy Ridge about six miles from the Pacific Coast. I had in mind an easy hike for the morning and this would do nicely for an out-of-the-way place to camp. We both slept well that evening - no unexpected interuptions in the night, this time...


Jackie comments on 08/19/17:
Just a lil tid bit, we went to a small restaurant for lunch at Sisters that day. After not having much of a breakfast and throwing up my entire stomach the night before, I indulged myself in the best tasting monte cristo ever(grilled ham and cheese on french toast with powdered sugar and jam). Not only did it taste like heaven at the time, but it was so good that I felt compelled days later to write this comment in my dad's trip report about a key event he forgot to mention: the best damn sandwich I've had in my entire life.
Anonymous Fan comments on 10/22/18:
^ This is a great update. Thanks, Jackie!
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