Near the summit of Lowder Mountain the ground is largely bare, with only some mosses growing for the most part.
As the sun warmed the earth, steam rose from the ground.
The summit of Lowder wasn’t much for views. So I turned around and headed back down the hill, intent on continuing down the Lowder Mtn Trail. This view is from that trail and not from the summit:
Sometimes the trail was relatively easy to follow, like here:
In other places it was more like this (that’s the trail running through the center of the pic):
The trail followed the south face of the ridge through a series of open areas. This meant increasingly vanishing trail, but also some lovely wildflowers.
It was only 1/2 mile past the post that I ran into this. I might have gotten through that, but it was pretty dense, I was enjoying the sun, and my ambition had evaporated.
There was a decent view from here:
You could even see Mt. Bachelor in the distance:
Afetr eating my lunch, I started up the slope to relieve myself when I ran across this. Not sure what animal left it (I’m not much of a scatologist) but it was fresh. For reference, this pile was about 6″ across:
On the way back out I just had to take this picture. If you have seen Guardians of the Galaxy, this looked to me like Groot coming up the hill.
It was a short hike, but I enjoyed myself. I covered a little over 7.3 miles. You can download the KMZ file here to view my route in Google Earth. In retrospect, I do wish I had pushed on through that thicket. Because of this, I returned a few weeks later.