By Steve Kruger, Executive Director, Trailkeepers of Oregon
On September 19, 2017, TKO volunteers had every intention to make their yearly return to Angel’s Rest. The site of our first official trail work party in 2008, this place is very dear to all of us, and we make a special effort to come back and take care of this trail on a regular basis. As the Eagle Creek fire lit up and rolled on in dramatic fashion through summer’s end and into fall, our return wasn’t meant to be as planned. We worried that we would not get the chance to visit some of these special places for quite some time. We intentionally avoided saying these Gorge work parties were “canceled,” instead declaring that the events were “postponed” for the time being. By making that distinction, I shared my own determination that when the smoke cleared and the area was deemed safe, we’d be the first to sign on and bring those trails back again.
Steve Kruger stands atop the Upper McCord Trail that leads to the overlook of Elowah Falls. In January, he and lead TKO volunteers scouted the trail for the first time and saw that it has a long way to go before being opened to the public. (Photo by Tom Kloster)