Great Views And A Rare Animal Sighting! Date Climbed: Sep 11, 2010
This was my fourth of four CoGPPs summited in one day. I was able to drive my passenger vehicle to the summit, although I had to stop numerous times along FR-470 to remove hidden rocks. During my descent, I saw a cougar running down FR-40 from the slopes of Saddle Butte. I also encountered the largest bird I have ever personally seen in wilderness: a California condor. At first I could not believe it, but there was no mistaking the species (as I had previous seen them in captivity, in books, and on television). Some people I initially told about the sighting thought I was mistaken, as California condors had not been in Northwest wilderness areas for many years. I did some research after returning home and found out the Oregon Zoo had released 10 California condors (including three from the previous year), so it is likely I saw one of those. It was likely a once-in-a-lifetime bird sighting for me, and not one I will soon forget.