Editor's note: This article was taken from the dailytidings.com Ecologue.
Last weekend we went hiking on Dunlop Trail, a pretty path (about 3 miles roundtrip) in the Cascades up Dead Indian Memorial Road. The track winds through a shady forest, passing by a side trail to Dunlop Meadow.
As the interpretive national forest sign says:
"These two meadows resulted from massive earthflow landslides thousands of years ago. The cliff which rises to the south of the meadows was formed when a large portion of the mountainside slid into the South Fork Canyon of Little Butte Creek. The landslide deposits at the base of the cliff created an irregular ground surface and trapped enough water to form two small lakes. As they filled with decaying vegetation and sediment, the lakes gradually transformed into the grassy meadows seen here today. In prehistoric times, the Takelma Indians camped here during the summer to hunt and to gather the camas bulbs that grow in the moist parts of the meadows.
"Here, on the east edge of the upper meadow is the "Dunlop Ranch." Very little is known about this old homestead's history. "Old man Dunlop" is thought to have been a settler from the Eagle Point area who "squatted" here sometime in the 1920s (long before any roads accessed this area); some stories state that he was a moonshiner. During the 1930s, the Nickerson family lived here briefly, raising Angora goats. The goat hides were sold for mohair upholstery in automobiles.
"The Dunlop Ranch has been abandoned for many years and time has taken its toll on the log cabin, barn and the small shed. The shed remains in the best condition; with its double-log walls, insulated with sawdust, the north half of the shed was used to keep meat and other food cool."
We explored the meadow and the remnants of the ranch, pondering what it would be like to live up there without electricity, before roads were put in — the winters must have been hard.
Back on the path, we gradually descended on a switchback through the trees and over and past several small steams to the banks of roaring Little Butte Creek. The dogs enjoyed cooling off in the water and we enjoyed poking along the shore before heading back up the hill.
To see a photo gallery of our hike, go to dailytidings.com/ecologue.