Jason Evans and “Jumpin’ Jack Wabbit” Hike The Blue Lake Trail…

Jason Evans at Blue Lake

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/willamette/recreation/recarea/?recid=4566

“Jumpin’ Jack Wabbit” on the Blue Lake Trail

“Several excellent climbing routes to the summit of Diamond Peak can be made from this trail.

Wildlife is abundant in the forested areas where mountain hemlock and pacific silver fir dominate the forest canopy with occasional mixings of douglas-fir, western white pine, lodgepole pine and noble fir. Numerous openings along the trail give views of Diamond Peak, the southern portion of the Middle Fork Ranger District and Mount Thielson and Mount Bailey.”

Jason Evans

Blue Lake, Diamond Peak Wilderness
Diamond Peak Wilderness Willamette National Forest

Got the 4am Zoom call from my pal, Jason. As usual, he was excited about a new adventure. “Come over this weekend for a hike up to Blue Lake,” he said, jumping up and down just like “Jumpin’ Jack Wabbit,” who was standing next to him…

The next day, I jumped on my dirt bike and headed out to the Oasis in the desert near Steens. It would be yet another strange but beautiful adventure with my pals, Jason and “Jumpin’ Jack Wabbit” in the desert near Steens…

But this time we went to a new spot on a secret trail to Blue Lake. Jason wanted to introduce me to a new friend he met the first time he explored Blue Lake…

Jumpin’ Jack Wabbit was jumpin’ to get back to Blue Lake too. I wondered why he was so excited, but he’s just that way. He’s always jumpin’ around, messin’ around, looking to get into trouble, just like Wabbits do…

Jumpin’ Jack Wabbit jumped in Jason’s rig first, like he always does. We raced off to Diamond Peak Wilderness area past through the desert near Steens. Jason looks at me with that smerky grin as if to say, “you are in for a surprise, dude.”

Heading to Blue Lake

Except for Jumpin’ Jack Wabbit jumpin’ around the seats on our laps and making goofy faces, we didn’t talk on the way. We just look at the mountain peaks, still with snow, and dream of nature’s wonders yet seen or discovered in the wilderness we love…

Billy Blackbear at Blue Lake

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_Peak_Wilderness

As we drove up to Blue Lake to park for the short hike to Blue Lake, Jumpin’ Jack Wabbit, jumped out of his seat and out the window with some excitement. Jason stopped and looked at me and whispered, “wait here dude, I’ll need to talk to my new pal, “Billy Blackbear” and let him know it’s okay to let you into Blue Lake.”

“Wow, really Jason!” I whispered back with some trepidation. You know, Jason talks to and makes friends with just about anything wild in the wilderness. He is a “Whisperer” like no other human I’ve ever met.

Amazingly, when Jason walked back with Billy Blackbear and Jumpin’ Jack Wabbit in tow, I couldn’t imagine hanging out with them at first. But then, Billy Blackbear reaches his huge scary paw out to me to shake my hand. With some hesitation and a grin from Jason, I extended my hand…

Billy Blackbear was as friendly as can be. He ran back up to Blue Lake and jumped in for a swim. Jumpin’ Jack Wabbit followed, then Jason, then me.

We swam and hung out together for a few hours. Jason sat on the rock you see in the photo, and held court. All of us meditated together while Jason whispered things to Billy Blackbear and Jumpin’ Jack Wabbit…

You see, Jason is a wildlife Whisperer like no other. I think he talks to trees too…

When it was time to head back, Billy Blackbear escorted us back to Jason’s rig just below Blue Lake. Jumpin’ Jack Wabbit seemed a little down about that, though…

As we raced back to the Oasis in the desert near Steens, Jason didn’t say a word. He just looked at me with that smerky grin as if to say, “do you really believe we just did that?”

I just said, “can we go to Blue Lake again to hang with Billy Blackbear?” While Jumpin’ Jack Wabbit jumped and laughed with joy, we headed home across the desert badlands near Steens…

The Oasis in the desert near Steens
Steve Sparks
Author, Blogger, Mental Health Advocate

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