[pct-l] Oregon PCT Names

Steel-Eye chelin at teleport.com
Mon Jan 21 08:08:28 CST 2008

Good morning, Wayne,

It's interesting to learn how Pamelia Lake received that somewhat unusual
name.  When I moved to the Salem area in '66 I began regularly hiking in
what was then designated the Mt. Jefferson Primitive Area, and the Pamelia
Lake Trailhead was one of its most popular access points off Hwy. 22, the
Santiam Pass.  There was a gentle 2-mile trail up Pamelia Creek to the lake,
and that easy access made the lake quite popular.  That popularity also made
the camping areas around the lake rather shabby.

At that time there was no such thing as the PCT but one of its progenitors,
the Oregon Skyline Trail, did go through Hunt's Cove then north immediately
past Pamelia Lake on its way to the Milk Creek crossing.  Through traffic on
the Skyline Trail contributed to the over-use at Pamelia Lake.  In all these
many years, I've never camped right at Pamelia Lake.  I just passed by on my
way to somewhere more remote.

Subsequently, a new section of PCT was built which bypasses east of Hunt's
Cove and Pamelia Lake about 1,000 ft. further up the flank of Mt. Jefferson.
It passes just below Cathedral Rocks and through an alpine lakes area
containing Shale and Coyote Lakes before continuing through heavy forest
cover to Milk Creek.  Overall, I think this new arrangement is much more


^^^^^^^^^^  Join other hikers at:  http://www.aldhawest.org/  ^^^^^^^^^^

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Wayne Kraft" <wayneskraft at comcast.net>
To: <pct-l at backcountry.net>
Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2008 9:00 PM
Subject: [pct-l] Oregon PCT Names

>I was gifted this Christmas with a magnificent book entitled Oregon
> Geographical Names. This hefty tome, 2 1/2 inches thick, is a
> multi-generational labor of love produced first by Lewis A. "Tam" McArthur
> and now maintained and updated by Tam's son, Lewis L. McArthur.  Tam
> McArthur Rim, a wild and wonderful feature on the east side of Oregon's
> Three Sisters (the PCT runs along the west side) is named for the original
> author or "compiler" as he humbly refers to himself.
> The place names of Oregon weave a complex and fascinating tale.  I dare
> say
> you could learn most of what's worth knowing of Oregon's history just by
> studying these geographical names.
> A sample:  Just before the PCT makes its notorious crossing of Milk Creek
> in
> Oregon's Mount Jefferson Wilderness, a short side trail leads to Pamelia
> Lake and its outlet, Pamelia Creek.  Pamelia Creek was named by early
> explorer John Minto after Pamelia Berry, an expedition cook known to have
> a
> particularly sunny disposition.  Many geographical features are, in turn,
> named for John Minto including 5600' Minto Pass across which the PCT
> passes
> several miles to the south (just after the impressive traverse of Three
> Fingered Jack's western slope).
> Pamelia Lake was later named after the creek by Judge John Waldo, an early
> Oregon political luminary from a prominent family of Oregon and Northern
> California, who spent much time tramping about in the high Cascades.
> (John
> Waldo's Uncle Bill was nominated as a candidate for governor of California
> by the Whig Party in 1853.)You'll not be surprised to find that Judge
> Waldo
> has his own lake, Waldo Lake, not far off the PCT a few miles north of
> Odell
> Lake.  Waldo is one of Oregon's largest high mountain lakes, but Judge
> Waldo
> was a man of such character that he also has his own glacier on the
> southeast slope of Mount Jefferson.
> And Odell Lake, well, that is a story for another time.
> If no one objects too strenuously, I will add a note now and then to PCT-l
> as I find more interesting Oregon PCT Names stories.  I will use this same
> subject line so you can delete them unread if you find them incredibly
> boring.  I will warn you, however, that if someone does object strenuously
> you may find that I will join in some of the other discussions, such as
> the
> recent very detailed ruminations on butt-wiping, water caching and bear
> feeding, with probable devastating consequences.
> We tend to view the lands through which our trail passes as untrammeled
> and
> uninhabited.  Contemplation of the history of the land via study of the
> place names reveals this to be untrue.   For more than a hundred years
> before our hikes our European ancestors tramped these woods and mountains.
> For millennia before them the original inhabitants lived here as
> comfortably
> as we now live in our own homes and neighborhoods.  When you stop for
> lunch
> or camp for the night it is good to think about all these generations
> before
> us who have, perhaps on this very spot, eaten a meal prepared by a
> particularly cheerful camp chef or returned generation after generation
> for
> summer hunting and gathering.
> Wayne Kraft
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