Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summer School ~ Beazell Memorial Forest (Hike #10!)

Beazell Memorial Forest @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Hike #10! We had a frustrating morning with missing keys and whiny children—then a beautiful drive with hard rock music blasting through the speakers in the truck since Holly and Ivy weren’t with us.

The Kings Valley area is gorgeous. The Renaissance faire we attend each year is just past this trailhead.

Beazell Memorial Forest is easy to find and has a great parking lot, no parking fees, and nice bathrooms. Win! Plus we were only a few minutes late, even with the missing keys (thanks, Mom, for rescuing us).

The historical Plunkett House is near the entrance. It was built in 1875.

The Plunkett House @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

I took this next picture to memorialize the 20 seconds that one son was being kind to another and helping him with his pack.

Beazell Brothers @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

This was our hiking crew (Holly, Heather, Christina, and I with kids—obviously I’m behind the camera). You can see my son in front with the cheerful attitude. We were having shoe issues. And I think Lola is sticking out her tongue.

Beazell Hiking Crew @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

We had a bit of trouble figuring out where we were going because there are several loops in this area. We took the South Ridge Trail to the South Meadow Loop up to the summit. It was a rough uphill climb. We’ve completed several uphill climbs but not recently, and this one felt really tough. It wasn’t a long hike up and I’m not sure what the elevation gain was because the hiking sites don’t agree. It was warmer than usual (upper 70s), and I don’t think I had my normal energy levels to draw from.

I’m not sure which is the best site to use for information—AllTrails (Plunkett Creek Loop, South Ridge), The Right Trail (I like that this site shows a better map and allows the user to click on different loops), or Oregon Hikers.

Beazell Hike @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

The views were nice at the top, though not particularly spectacular. We were supposed to have views of Marys Peak where we hiked a few weeks ago, but I’m not sure where it was. At least we had blue skies!

Beazell View @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

The general atmosphere was gorgeous, though, and a little different from the other hikes we’ve been on.

Beazell Hiking @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

The shady downhill hike (I think we returned to the South Ridge trail then met up with the Plunkett Creek Loop Trail) was fabulous. We took the inside half of the loop closest to the creek. I’d highly recommend just the Plunkeet Creek Loop Trail for a lighter hike, especially for those with young kids. Very beautiful.

Plunkett Creek @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

This brought us to a bridge crossing the creek and depositing us back at the parking lot, but we stopped for quite some time at the bridge to picnic together and let the kids play in the water. It was a lovely and refreshing end to what started out as a difficult hike.

Beazell Bridge Picnic @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Christina and Heather had to leave and my boys were done, but Holly, Ivy, Lola, and I finished with the remaining short trail, The Bird Loop. The day was really heating up (go ahead and laugh at me, friends with 100 degree weather), and there was less shade on that trail, but I’m glad to say we did it.

Plunkett Creek Bridge @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Whew. We have one more hike planned for next week, and it’s going to be a doozy. I may have to leave Lola home for that one. After that, we have a busy July planned (July 4th, summer camp for Luke, CiRCE conference for me, and a week of camping with family and friends) and no official hiking days. We’ll see if we decide to add in more hikes over the summer!

Stay tuned for Oregon Coast pictures from Father’s Day!

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