Oneonta and Franklin Ridge

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Chip Down
Posts: 1202
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Oneonta and Franklin Ridge

Post by Chip Down » April 19th, 2017, 7:17 pm

One of my favorite varieties of hikes is to return to a place I've only seen burried under snow, to discover how it looks when bare. Last Friday I wanted a quick easy hike, so headed up Oneonta Trail to explore a bare Franklin Ridge.

Starting up the Oneonta Trail, I immediately hit snow. I don't mean along the trail, I mean actually on the trail. I was shocked. It spooked me enough to walk back to my car (a minute away) to grab my axe, which I never ended up using. There were a few snow patches up high, but it was negligible.

I've never been past the Horsetail cutoff, so it was nice to see new terrain. I'd forgotten there was a good bridge at the lower Horsetail junction; it's the upper crossing that can be a boot-soaker.

There were many tempting offtrail shortcuts up to Franklin Ridge (open slopes, mossy rocky ridges) but it was raining, and I hate bushwhacking in the rain. I didn't know what I might be getting myself into, so stuck to the trail.

Along the way I spotted what looked like an old side trail, so went to investigate. It was pretty subtle, so I suspect most hikers walk past without noticing. It was obviously well maintained at one time (lots of sawcuts). It was fairly steep in spots, not a lot of switchbacks. Found a curious "2204" marker nailed to a tree. I was hoping the trail would take me to Franklin, but sadly it just ran back into Oneonta, which had switchbacked to meet my mystery trail.

The rain was getting a bit white and slushy, and by the time I arrived at Franklin it was firm dry graupel. At the Franklin junction I decided to go down to Nesika Lodge XC, and return up on the trail. Ugh, too much knee-high junk to step over. Last time, there was enough snow to make travel a little easier. So I veered west to catch the trail until I met the little spur that goes to the lodge.

At Nesika, once I was under cover, the rain started in earnest, then hail, then sun, rinse and repeat. Last time I was here it was single digits and the chairs were covered in snow. This was much more pleasant. I enjoyed lunch and beer as I watched the weather show. When I figured the rain was over for a while, I headed back up Franklin, as far as the junction where you have to choose to go towards Multnomah or Horsetail.

The descent was straightforward. Only excitement was when I stepped off the bridge and lost traction on the wet wood step. Fell back and bashed my arm on the edge of the step. Nothing broken or lacerated, but a bit of a bruise is still lingering. Oh, and I found another mystery trail, but not quite as interesting as the other. Seemed to be just an old alignment, more or less parallel to the current trail. As expected, it was very touristy at/below triple falls, even on a semi-holiday Friday.
Attachments
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Mystery marker on my mystery trail
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Oneonta Trail up on Franklin Ridge isn't as clear as some might wish.
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A reflective marker helps.
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A campsite on Franklin Ridge. Close to trail, no water, no views...why camp here?
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Surprised to see this washout still hasn't been addressed (Oneonta trail, just below the Horsetail bridge).
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Wouldn't want to be standing there at the wrong time.
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Finding this was fun. For comparison, see next pic (from my previous trip).
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Chip Down
Posts: 1202
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: Oneonta and Franklin Ridge

Post by Chip Down » April 19th, 2017, 7:20 pm

I've been saving this for an easy day with no technical challenges.
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20170414_105915.jpg

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miah66
Posts: 2021
Joined: July 6th, 2009, 8:00 pm

Re: Oneonta and Franklin Ridge

Post by miah66 » April 21st, 2017, 7:44 am

Fun report as usual. I just noticed your avatar is a "chip down". Go figure! :lol:
"The top...is not the top" - Mile...Mile & a Half

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