After the B and B Complex fire ravaged the area, we avoided central Oregon's Canyon Creek Meadows trail. We figured it'd be too depressing to walk through burnt trees. Today we were proven wrong,
Even back in 2005, just two years after the summer of 2003 fire, William (Bill) Sullivan and other lovers of this area said that that it still had "corners of wonder."
Well, I'm about to show you that this is an understatement in 2007. There are whole boulevards of wonder – including the burned areas.
Directions to the trail head are online and in various hiking books, including Sullivan's guide to the Central Oregon Cascades. It starts from the Jack Lake parking area. The road to Jack Lake is passable with any sort of vehicle. Just be ready for some teeth-rattling washboarding.
Have $5 to plunk into a box if you don't have an annual National Forest Trail Pass. We were pleased to pay. The hike is priceless. And the outhouse at the parking lot was spanking clean. Odor-free even.
We didn't see any wildlife during our almost six mile hike. No deer. Not even any birds. But I guess this curious chipmunk qualifies. Our dog loves to chase little critters. He seemed to be taunting her.
Regrowth is well under way without any help from humans. Which is how the aftermath of all wildfires should be handled, in our opinion. Nature knows what it's doing. Logging and seeding aren't necessary. (This is in the Jefferson Wilderness Area, so it wouldn't be permitted anyway).
After some ups and downs we were rewarded with a gorgeous view of Three Fingered Jack. The mountain always makes me think "Mordor." Yet without the evil. A bit sinister looking, though.
There's beauty in the burned areas also. My Tai Chi instructor's wife is Japanese. Warren said that when her relatives came to visit and saw burned areas along Highway 20, they took lots of photos and said "How beautiful." Yes.
We got plenty dusty on the hike. Jack Lake was impossible to pass up at the end of the trail.
Bottom line: don't pass up a chance to hike the Canyon Creek Meadows trail. The burned areas make it more interesting, not less. Beauty still is evident every step of the way.