Before leaving Rite Aid, I ascertained that everyone had hydrated the day before and had proper amounts of water and electrolytes with them. We were good to go so we headed out to hike Mount Eddy starting at Parks Creek and finishing in the Deadfall Meadow. This has to be one of my favorite hikes that our group does.
When we arrived the temperature was 73 degrees and seemed to stay there for most of the hike. This trail starts out pretty flat and is in the shade for most of the 1st three miles. We saw many wildflowers and a little bit of water going across parts of the trail. I stopped the group a couple of times to make sure everyone was drinking enough water and staying cool.
After turning off the PCT we headed towards the upper Deadfall Lakes. I told everyone we would have a pack-off snack break after the first climb to the lakes but before the climb to the saddle. It was here that we made sure that anyone who wanted to remain at the lake in the shade should do so. All hikers were good to go on up to the saddle.
We made our way up the switchbacks to the top and had fabulous views. We could see Castle Crags, Mount Lassen, Brokeoff Mountain and of course Black Butte and Mount Shasta. We could also see Mount McLoughlin. On the top, there were Sky Pilots blooming. I have only seen them on top of Mount Eddy. We decided to take our lunch in the wind break area away from other hikers.
I am proud to tell you that we had Sabin who is 79 or 80 and Kirby who is 82 both reach the summit. The group cheered for Kirby as he joined us. It had been around 50 years since he had been to the top. I had recently seen some fun photos of jumping at the summit and decided I wanted to try one. It caught on and June and Leslie wanted to try it too. Then we had 7 of us do the same JUMP!! We laughed at some of our failed attempts to get everyone in the air at the same time while making sure to click the camera button multiple times to get the right look.
We headed back down the mountain and regrouped at the saddle. Everyone was in good shape and there were no issues with leg cramps or muscle spasms. I was relieved that my email to the group reminding everyone to stay hydrated and everyone following through made such a big difference.
After dropping down from the upper lakes, we stopped and talked to another hiker and waited for everyone to regroup. I looked down and saw a bunch of Phacelia Pringlei wildflowers that are fairly rare. They may have only been seen in that area and on the Kangaroo Lake to Bull Lake hike (they are hugely in bloom there this year).
We continued down and decided, at Bob and June's request, to let them take a swim in the water. Bob went and checked and the bigger Deadfall Lake was a bit of a drop down to get there so we continued on to another lake down lower. People took their shoes off and relaxed. No one was in a hurry to end this beautiful day.
We then headed down the trail and had water crossings in many places. Sabin remarked that he had never seen the amount of water that we were seeing. I was so very proud of this group making sure everyone found a safe crossing on every stream. We saw some Corn Lilies that were in bloom. I had not seen them blooming in years.
We finished up in Deadfall Meadow and came back up to the road where the shuttle car was parked. We were greeted by some pack goats and the family that was going to take them on the trail and go camping. It was another long day and we returned to Ashland late. This time, it was because we took so much time to enjoy all that nature had to offer.