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McKenzie River Trail-Oregon
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Michael Mathisen

Locale: Oregon
McKenzie River Trail-Oregon on 05/27/2010 14:37:18 MDT Print View

With winter finally in the rear view mirror I was beginning to feel the symptoms of U.L. Spring Fever. I had a new quilt to try out and new pair of trekking poles that were getting rug burns on their tips. My backpack had been packed and repack several times and had grow tired of our brief walks around the house. I needed to get out.
After pouring over several guide books I decided on the McKenzie River Trail. My P.I.C. on this trip was my buddy Burt. Burt had never been backpacking before and he didn’t have any backpacking gear or clothing. I was a little worried about taking an inexperienced hiker in to the woods especially after he refused to use most of my extra gear. But Burt was a good friend and I figured having company and good conversation was worth the risk.
MRT Trail head
My Wife dropped us off at the trail head around 11:30 a.m.
Our hike started about a mile above Clear Lake. The MRT isn't what I would call a true wilderness hike. Most of the time you are with in ear shot or eye sight of HWY 126, but what it lacks in solitude it makes up for in beauty.
After an hour and a half of hiking we arrived at Sahalie and Koosah Falls. I had forgotten how amazing these falls were.
Sahalie Falls

Koosah Falls

Burt and I

Me Walking
After the falls the scenery took a dip and for the next two hours the most amazing thing we saw was a tree that had an opening in the bottom and if you stared in to it the knot in the middle appeared move away from you. It was a little creepy.
Our dreary two hour walk through what Burt and I decided was the quietest and least scenic stretch of the trail finally paid off when we reached an extremely blue pool of water.

By 5:30 p.m. the clouds rolled in and it began to drizzle. At first I was worried about Burt’s exposed sleeping bag and the prospect of having to cuddle with him under my JRB Sierra Sniveler. Luckily the forest canopy prevented most of the moisture from falling on us. We continued to hike another two hours until we reached a place to camp. We set up camp near boulder creek after covering roughly 20 miles.
One item of mine Burt used was my Tarptent Virga, which I set up for him on a nice flat piece of ground. I slept under my MLD Tarp which I lazily set up on a not so level spot. I paid for this poor decision later that night when I woke up to a swooshing noise caused by me sliding out from under my tarp.
The next morning a semi truck rolling down the highway woke me from my slumber. We broke camp at 7:30 and started down the trail.


Our trip had been a success. Burt enjoyed his first Backpacking trip! Not only did he enjoy himself he also asked when our next hike would be. It was a good feeling to know I had provided Burt with a positive experience. As for me my spring fever symptoms are under control and I can now get back to being a productive member of society. Of course I am pretty sure I’m addicted to the medication!

Edited by mathix on 05/31/2010 12:01:48 MDT.

Michael Mathisen

Locale: Oregon
Left out of report on 06/03/2010 19:14:02 MDT Print View

I forgot to mention upon reaching our campsite I went to put on my montbell therma wrap jacket. After sliding my arms in I noticed my wrists extended a good 6 in. from the end of the sleeve. Some how I managed to pack my wifes jacket. Burt made a Tommy Boy referance as I twisted from side to side. Priceless!

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Nice! on 06/03/2010 21:38:48 MDT Print View

Nice report! I may be moving to Oregon this fall, and these trip reports are certainly pushing me in that direction!

It's always good to see new backpackers in the making.

Michael Mathisen

Locale: Oregon
Re: Nice! on 06/04/2010 11:39:26 MDT Print View

Thanks for the kind words Chris. Oregon certainly has a lot to offer. I've lived here my entire life so I am a little bias.