I first read about the Peter Ogden trail hike in the Paulina Lake area of Central Oregon back in 2010 in the great novice hiking book, Bend Overall. The book mentioned a long trail with waterfalls, and since I love waterfalls and the trail is only a half hour from our family place, I thought I’d give it a go. It is a nearly 10 mile long trail from the base up to the Paulina Lake trail end, but in my first attempt I only made it maybe halfway but *loved* the hike: lots of trees, lots of waterfalls, occassional lookouts at the mountains, not very crowded…
Since that time, I have made several attempts to finish the trail, even by starting at the midway point and at the top, but always something has stopped me: tired dogs, blocked trail, red flag alerts and low oxygen levels (I have stable lung disease so at times carry around an oxymeter to make sure my heart rate and oxygen stay at acceptable levels). To be honest, I’d all but given up the idea I’d hike it.
Yesterday Wife M was taking an all-day practice exam, so needed a quiet house. I decided to use that time to hike this trail. My plan was to park at the base of the trail, hike 2 hours as far as I could, then turn around and return home — a four-hour day.
The trail begins presumably at 3000 feet elevation, a few miles off HIghway 97. I park in a gravel lot at the Peter Ogden Horse Camp turn off, and cross the bridge that begins the trail. It is a cloudy morning, but no forecast of thunder and a forecast of “becoming sunny.” I have two Kind bars, a thermos of water and some nuts, plus ate a breakfast sandwhich from Sintra’s Cafe at the base of the trail so that I begin my hike with a full stomach. It is 10:30am. (Continued on next post)…