Monday, June 9, 2014

Weldon Wagon Trail

The day we hiked Dog Mountain (see previous post) we had a arranged to meet a small group for a hike at Weldon Wagon Trail, and so we reluctantly abandoned our hike at Dog Mountain and headed on.  The Weldon Wagon Trail is is in drier more open country, an old trail that was used to bring produce to market, but which soon wore out both the horses and the wagons' brakes.  Because of the presentation I had to give in the evening, we were not able to hike the trail to the end, but saw enough to know that we want to go back.

The hike began in the trees,

but we soon left the trees behind for more open areas.

There were wildflowers everywhere:
Great Hound's Tongue, Cynoglossum grande,

 Howell's Violet, Viola howellii, and Yellow Prairie Violet, Viola praemorsa,

 Red Columbine, Aquilegia formosa,

Dove's Foot Geranium, Geranium molle,
a non-native, if I have the identification correct,

Small-flowered Lupine, Lupinus micranthus,
a new one for us,

Naked Broomrape, Orobanche uniflora,

Narrowleaf Owl's Clover, Castilleja attenuata,

Suksdorf's Desert Parsley, Lomatium suksdorfii,
very rare and found mainly in this area,

Puccoon, Lithospermum ruderale,

Lemon-scented Tarweed, Madia citriodora,

 Pacific Dogwood, Cornus nuttallii,

The Balsamroots were magnificent and covered the hillsides.

I believe these are mostly or all the Puget Balsamroot, Balsamorhiza deltoidea,

And we found two orchids along the way, actually three,
but the Fairy Slippers were nearly finished and we took no photos.

The Striped Coralroot, Corallorhiza striata var. striata, was one of the orchids,

and the Clustered Lady's Slipper, Cypripedium fasciculatum, the other.

We found only one mushroom, a disappointment to my wife, and could not identify it either.
Note, however, the mosquitoes hanging on to it.

The Oregon White Oaks or Garry Oaks, Quercus garryana, were magnificent,
in fact, it is worth hiking this trail just to see them.

Leaving the trailhead and on the road once again, we saw a snake sunning itself in the road and nearly hit it.
We stopped the car and with a stick I managed to get him off the road and into the brush,
and I hope saved his life, but if so he did not appreciate it.
He was very aggressive a characteristic, we learned later, of Gopher Snakes,
since that's what he proved to be, the Pacific Gopher Snake, Pituophis catenifer catenifer.


  1. the brownies are particularly nice to find.

    I had not heard of this trail before but it certainly looks like it covers a lot of fun eco-zones.

    The Hounds tongue are what got me to Catherine Creek for the first time. They are wonderful

    1. Hi Marti,
      This is a great trail and one we intend to do again. It does indeed go through a number of eco-zones. Starts in a rather damp forest and works its way up to drier forest, to scrub and finally to open hillsides.


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