Larch Mountain via Franklin Ridge 07-Oct-09

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VanMarmot
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Larch Mountain via Franklin Ridge 07-Oct-09

Post by VanMarmot » October 10th, 2009, 7:26 am

Good news: still employed. Bad news: fewer hours. Good news: more hiking time. Which is how I came to be climbing Larch Mountain from Multnomah Falls last Wednesday. The Falls is certainly a less crowded place early on a week-day morning - just me and a lone tourist bellowing opera from the bridge. And except for some hikers encountered on my way back, I had the trail to myself. The Franklin Ridge trail
(1) Trail.jpg
is a favorite because its a little longer and more varied than the direct trail, offers a viewpoint, and (just before its junction with the Oneonta trail) passes through a gallery of tall trees on an open forest floor
(3) Franklin Ridge trail.jpg
- an effect I've always found comforting. There were also some bursts of fall colors along the way,
(2) Fall colors.jpg
but major color changes are still a little bit ahead. On this clear and very pleasant day, the "summit" offered its usual expansive views of all the major peaks, all the way from Rainier
(4) Rainier & St Helens.jpg
to Jefferson. After lunch, it was down the direct trail along Multnomah Creek from near its headwaters
(5) Upper Multnomah Ck.jpg
to before the Falls.
(6) Multnomah Ck.jpg
The Forest Service has added mileage markers to the paved portion of the Falls trail, along with signs numbering the switchbacks - so you can now count-off the number of switchbacks ("5 of 11", etc.) to or from the car. Ah, progress.

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Splintercat
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Re: Larch Mountain via Franklin Ridge 07-Oct-09

Post by Splintercat » October 10th, 2009, 9:07 am

"...just me and a lone tourist bellowing opera from the bridge..."
____________________________________

Hmm... well, I'm not sure if that's an improvement on the three-piece marching folk band (drums, accordion, guitar, wavering vocals) that I was serenaded by at Boulder Lake a couple weeks ago, or not... at least you had the option of throwing the opera singer over the bridge..! :twisted:

Interesting sign marking Franklin Ridge -- looks like it was made by a volunteer... perhaps the Trails Club? Good to see that!

The new switchback countdown has some positive elements, if it encourages newbies to actually make it to the top. I suspect the USFS had complaints from tourists not knowing "how much farther", and if this helps a few more make it to the overlook, good for them!

Tom :)

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Arioto
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Re: Larch Mountain via Franklin Ridge 07-Oct-09

Post by Arioto » November 11th, 2009, 3:53 pm

Splintercat, I was unable to get a good enough picture of the "mountain band" that day after running into you. Did you snap any? Would love it if you could share. :)

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Splintercat
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Re: Larch Mountain via Franklin Ridge 07-Oct-09

Post by Splintercat » November 15th, 2009, 5:05 pm

Shoot -- just spotted your reply on this thread, Arioto (posted a lengthy trip report over in Lost Trails). No, I didn't get a photo of the band... thought they were kind of annoying, actually, but then visited with them a bit before heading up the trail, and they were friendly enough. They were obviously newbies, what with a huge fire on the lake shore and all manner of weird crap hauled in. That goes hand-in-hand with lakes that are 1/3 mile from a road, I guess..!

Tom

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greglief
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Re: Larch Mountain via Franklin Ridge 07-Oct-09

Post by greglief » November 16th, 2009, 2:20 pm

Thank you very much for the trip report and photos! You have reminded me that I really need to explore Franklin Ridge. However, I am truly sorry that you had to suffer through the solo operatic performance on the Benson Bridge. :shock:

Greg

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