We decided to do an overnight camping trip to the Marion Lake area. Our plan was to do the Marion Lake loop which is about 16 miles round trip. Saturday late morning I parked at the Marion Lake trail head and we threw our packs on and headed out.
The trek up to Marion Lake is about 3.1 Miles and passes Ann Lake. From Marion Lake we decided to go to the left and take the loop from the north side of Marion Lake and head east / southeast. This first section is rocky and we had a great view of other hikers fishing and rafting.
Once past the rocky section, we spotted two deer grazing above us to the left on the mountain side. They saw us but did not seem bothered. Just before we head away from Marion Lake, the trail gets down to the lake side and we crossed multiple wood planked walk ways which took us over mosquito bogged earth – we hurried through this beautiful green section.
The trail starts to open up to the old burn area where we could see quite far. In our distance watching us was three fingered jack (mountain), although the weather was starting to get worse. We could hear thunder in the distance both west and east of us. As we continued on trail 3437 towards the Bowerman Trail (3432) the rain started to fall on us. Not raining too bad, we decided to put on our rain jackets. About 10 minutes later it started to hail. The hail came down hard in pea sized pellets. Nothing we could do since we were in an open burn area, so we trudged along getting wetter and wetter by the minute. The hail tapered off after about 30 minutes of non stop and we had breaks from the rain off and on for the next hour. The trail was quite slippery at times and keeping our feet dry was impossible due to all the water running down the trail like a river which puddled up in spots forcing us to either wade throw 6+ inches of water or skirt around these newly formed trenches of water.
Passing Chiquito Lake, Little Bowerman Lake, then Bowerman Lake, we finally made it to the 3492 / 3422 junction point right next to Jorn Lake. This is where we decided to setup camp. The rain finally broke so we walked off the trail down towards Jorn Lake where we found a nice looking camp spot. Tired, Cold, and exhausted; we got our tents setup and hopped into the sleeping bags to warm up before cooking a meal.
The next morning we woke up to blue skies where we found ourselves looking across Jorn Lake at a wonderful site of Mt. Jefferson. The picture perfect camp site! After some morning oatmeal and a cup of joe, we decided to break camp and head out towards Marion Lake. Unfortunately our shoes were still completely soaked, so we combined our food into other bags and slipped our feet into some one gallon plastic ziploc bags and then into our wet shoes. Although quite cold, this seemed to keep our feet dry as we reluctantly slipped on our packs (which now felt twice as heavy today) and climbed back onto the trail.
Continuing through the burned section we made our way past blue lake and finally up over the top of the last ridge. After cresting, the rest of the trail meandered down hill and was a nice change of pace as it leveled out from time to time. Finally coming out of the burned section of this area we turned the bend and looked down on Marion Lake once again as we eventually connected back at the 3495 /3422 junction across the Marion Lake outlet.
From here we headed back towards Ann Lake and the trail head taking trail 3422. Something was very odd about this trail hike back. The trail was covered with evergreen trimmings. Like everywhere. Looked as though there was very heavy winds which brought a lot of debris onto the trail. As we got closer to the trail head we noticed what caused all of this damage. It was golf ball plus sized hail that had come down the previous day in that storm we got caught in during our hike in. YES – Golf ball sized hail.
We got back to the trail head where we found that every vehicle that was there including mine had Golf Ball sized DENTS all over the hood, roof, and body. I was sick to my stomach at this point that my vehicle was damaged. *sigh* – Oh… Mother Nature.
When I got home I did a quick search to find out more about this storm. Here is the national weather service text I found:WUUS56 KPQR 102145
SVRPQRORC043-047-102215-/O.NEW.KPQR.SV.W.0011.130810T2145Z-130810T2215Z/BULLETIN – EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR 245 PM PDT SAT AUG 10 2013 THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PORTLAND HAS ISSUED A * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
SOUTHEASTERN MARION COUNTY IN NORTHWEST OREGON…
NORTHEASTERN LINN COUNTY IN WESTERN OREGON… * UNTIL 315 PM PDT. * AT 239 PM PDT…NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL…AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR
MARION FORKS…AND MOVING NORTH AT 15 TO 20 MPH. * OTHER LOCATIONS THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WILL BE NEAR INCLUDE…
BREITENBUSH SPRINGS… IN OREGON THIS WILL IMPACT STATE HIGHWAY 22 EAST OF SALEM BETWEEN
MILE MARKERS 52 AND 78. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… THIS IS A DANGEROUS STORM. IF YOU ARE IN ITS PATH…PREPARE
IMMEDIATELY FOR DAMAGING WINDS…DESTRUCTIVE HAIL…HEAVY RAIN AND
DEADLY CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING. GOOD ROTATION IS ALSO APPARENT ON
RADAR…INDICATING A SLIGHT CHANCE FOR FUNNEL CLOUD
FORMATION. PEOPLE OUTSIDE SHOULD MOVE TO A SHELTER…PREFERABLY INSIDE A STRONG
BUILDING BUT AWAY FROM WINDOWS. IN ADDITION TO LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS…CONTINUOUS CLOUD TO
GROUND LIGHTNING IS OCCURRING WITH THIS STORM. MOVE INDOORS
IMMEDIATELY. LIGHTNING IS ONE OF NATURES NUMBER ONE KILLERS.
REMEMBER…IF YOU CAN HEAR THUNDER…YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO BE
STRUCK BY LIGHTNING. LAT…LON 4483 12214 4485 12175 4482 12174 4480 12179
4477 12175 4449 12182 4448 12184 4446 12202
TIME…MOT…LOC 2143Z 176DEG 30KT 4460 12192