My friend Sam and I had been bogged down with school work for four straight weeks and needed a break. We decided to go on a Saturday morning so we could have enough time to do work when we got back. I picked him up at his house near Reed College at 9 am. We took Highway 26 east after getting gas. On the way, we stopped for food at a Safeway, which took a little while. Because of the stops, traffic, and slow driving, we didn't make it to the trailhead until 11:30 am. Like a couple of duds, we pulled into a little pull-out just east of the "T" junction and failed to realize the true trailhead was a couple hundred feet beyond the trees. We starting walking south after I set up my GPS and looked at a topo map of the wilderness area that a nice couple offered to show. We eventually walked into the trail and followed it along. The lighting was beautiful as the fall colors began to come in on the low-lying plants and complemented the tall evergreens. We stopped a couple of times to take pictures and absorb the scenery. We made it to the top at around 12:50 pm and enjoyed the impressive view with Mt. Rainier (Tahoma), Mt. Adams, and Mt. St. Helens to the north and Mt. Jefferson, the Three Sisters, and Broken Top to the south. Mount Hood still soared a mile above us even though we stood at the top of the tallest peak in Mount Hood's vicinity which was not actually part of the mountain. Along with a grandma, we saw another couple come up after us with a toddler on each of their backs . Obviously, this isn't a hard hike, but the views are incredible and I'd recommend it to anyone. We got back to the car pretty quickly after following the trail to the proper trailhead and eventually made it back to the area around Reed at 4pm or so.
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