Wednesday night was a bit of a nightmare. We rolled into Corvallis too late for me to deal with finding a campsite and ended up at a Super 8. This was after going to almost every other hotel in town first. Turned out Corvallis was packed because of kids being dropped off for start of college. Not to mention the entire town was just busy with college students everywhere.
I had another great hike planned however: Marys Peak.
I went to the ranger's station for some trail information, maps, and a parking pass and headed out. The drive out had enough elevation gain that I was surprised there was more to climb! Corvallis was in the deep clouds.
But the East Ridge trailhead parking lot (which I had to myself) was in the warmth and the sun.
This trail was simply beautiful. I had the entire hike up to myself. Check out this mature second growth. The trail was in great condition. My understanding is that the North Ridge trail is not in as good of condition, but it might be the only winter option in a significant snow because of road access. Someday I will be back and maybe I will try the North Ridge trail.
Up top is open grass and it was really sunny and warm. Nim loved the grass. I have a ton of photos in which you can barely see the top of him because some of the grass was so tall.
I knew Nim was tired because he was so willing to lay down by my pack for awhile and just hang out. I used my larger pack for all my hikes on this trip. I can fit extra water, gear, and all the expensive equipment rather than leaving it in the car. This trail had no running water at this time of year and Nim and I went through a ton of water.
Had the day been clearer apparently I could have seen the ocean. Not this day, but it was gorgeous all the same.
If you are a non-hiker (or want to get younger kids out there) you can actually drive pretty much to the peak and you still may have have 1/2 - mile of mostly flat trail walking to explore around the peak.
We passed about 80 kids before we could pick up the trail back down and then only passed two other hikers and their dogs.
I had already decided that morning that we would stay the rest of the weekend in the Super 8 for our Rally-free workshop!
The hotel was totally overpriced for its condition, but I am getting the impression that is the area. Nim and I both missed the tent, but he didn't suffer too much.