Misty Mountain Hop
By Dwip April 28, 2013, 10:33 pm Comments (1) RSS Feed for this post

So, it was a beautiful day in the Oregon neighborhood this week. Got up to 80 degrees a couple times, bright, sunny, clear, the whole bit.

Which is why I took a trip to Mary’s Peak last week, when it was still 66 and slightly cloudy. Planning, as you might note, is a skill I possess. That said, it all worked out interestingly, as you shall soon see.

For those of you not from around here, Mary’s Peak is a roughly 4,000 foot tall mountain that’s the tallest thing in the vicinity, and is pretty much visible all over the valley. If you were in school, or in Scouts like I was, you will have been here quite a number of times, usually when it’s nice and sunny out for the best possible view.

As best I can figure, I haven’t actually been there since high school, so decided to take a couple hours and drive up, since it’s fairly close to Corvallis down Highway 34, which is…rather windier than I remembered once you hit the mountains. It’s been a while.

Close to the bottom, the mountain is basically one giant cliff, with a bunch of waterfalls running down it. I specifically remember the waterfalls, because the last time I was here there was a giant line of people winding up the mountainside for some reason, and it was right about here that I realized I really, really needed to pee. Waterfalls are helpful like that.

They’re also kind of neat, even if they are baby-sized ones. We have niftier ones around, I promise.

Also in this general area, a lot of the rock face isn’t so much waterfalls as just covered in flowing water, like these rocks, complete with little channels carved out by the water over time.

The further up you get, the more the rock softens up, giving way to moss and ultimately gentler slopes and trees a thousand feet up or so. For the most part, things are pretty barren except the road, though there are a few signs of habitation once you get closer to the campground or near one of the few logging sites.

The view, it must be said, is quite nice, even from this far down. There’s a bunch of logging equipment on the other side of this scenic vista, but if you turn around, it’s spectacular, though nothing like the actual summit.

And…about that. You see those clouds? Well, not too far past this area, things suddenly got…grim and bit primeval. I wasn’t eaten by velociraptors, but it felt close at times.

The actual summit was almost entirely fogged in, since it was essentially dead center in a cloud bank.

I waited for William Wallace to leap out with a bunch of highlanders, or maybe for the 500 mountain lions to show up, but they never did, despite the rather fitting terrain and eerie fog.

There was also a fair amount of snow on the ground, despite the fact that it was the end of April and rather warm down in the valley. As you can see, it’s melting, but it’s taking its time about it.

It also wasn’t entirely fogged in, and here and there you could catch glimpses of what is normally a quite epic view:

You really can see the whole valley from up there. I’ll have to remember to go back when it’s even nicer out so I can show it off a bit more.

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August 21, 2014 at 9:24 pm

[…] may recall from last year when I took a trip up Mary’s Peak, the highest mountain in our immediate vicinity, and it […]

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