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Date:  November 13, 2003

Location  Battle Ax Hike

Where:  Bull of the Woods Wilderness


 Work responsibilities had kept me tied down Mon through Wed of this week, and the weather forecast was that Thursday would be the last good day for some time, so we were determined to hike some place Thursday. After an early morning dentist appointment we fled town headed for Tumble Creek Trail at Detroit Lake knowing that its southern exposure would provide us with sunshine. Driving east on Highway 22 we passed friend Sharon Wright also driving east. After some hand signals, car signals and mental telepathy we turned off at the Stayton Park & Ride. Her passenger was Don Gallagher and they were meeting Ralph Nafziger for an impromptu hike of the Middle Pyramid. We were all surprised at the miracle of our timing, and after a short discussion of possibilities came up with a plan to join together and hike Battle Ax.

At Detroit we turned left up the Brietenbush, and then left again towards Elk Lake. If you have not been to Elk Lake in a number of years, you will now find it quite an adventure. The road, no longer maintained, has continued to deteriorate to the point one is never sure if it is best to walk or ride. We bumped along almost to Elk Lake before deciding to abandon the car where the pond-sized ice puddles began to look threatening.

Hiking on up the road past Elk Lake we were soon in sunshine. At the official trailhead for Battle Ax at Beachie Saddle we found the Trailhead Registry laying on the ground a little worse for wear.

Jim, Don, Sharon, Ralph, & Jeanette on Battle Ax summit

We continued up the trail on the south slope of Battle Ax and began to be rewarded with great views of the cascades. Olallie Butte had just a touch of powder on her summit. Mt Jefferson shown magnificently in the clear air, followed by Three Fingered Jack, and in the distance The Three Sisters. Arriving at the summit we could see north to Mt Hood, Mt Adams, Mt St Helens, and clear to Mt Rainer.

Ralph having lunch
Sharon & Bob having lunch
Jeanette having lunch