31 July, 2011

Lookout Mountain & The Mother Lode

Mother Lode Mine
Part of my vacation was spent over in Redmond in central Oregon. I went to see my child's godmother because she was my friend first.
She has a friend who works for the forest service (ret.) who guided us to this long easy hike up Lookout Mountain in the Ochoco Mountains (Crook County) just out of Prineville. He and a crew had just finished clearing the trails here.  Starting at the mine buildings, one climbs via a roadbed trail to the summit at 6926 feet. 

Serious water pipes help sedimentatize the gold and/or mercury.

Looking roughly northeast.
Our trail led through July lupine wildflower meadows.
Bella helped us stay on trail by resting often.

Some people took the easy way. Daylong trail rides around Lookout and Round Mountains.

Old Species:  Gnarly Pine

Crimson Columbine

Mule Deer

Scarlet Gilia
Taking it slow, we finally reached a 360' view at the tip-top of Lookout Mountain

Haze on the Cascade mountains.
 Far left on the horizon would be the Three Sisters, Mt. Washington, Three-Fingered Jack, and over to the right, Mt. Jefferson. I get this hazy problem in the airplane a lot. I can see the mountains but my camera cannot distinguish them. A small forest fire was burning Thursday just north of Redmond and some of that is lingering.
Looking south.

Now who did that?

 This is the snow shelter.
Lookout Mountain is a year-round-use area with cross-country skiers utilizing the trail.

Upper meadow with sagebrush and either Balsam or sunflowers.
Since the temps in the Bend/Redmond valley were hovering just above 90', it was exceedingly nice to be about 10+ degrees cooler. An excellent breeze played at the top to cool you off after climbing. I drank roughly 48 oz. of water on this hike to stay hydrated.

More info:
Independent Mine

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