Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Much of the area along this stretch
of trail was ugly clear cut.
Just to celebrate the new year, I'm giving you a double feature--two trail days in a single post! Yeah, okay, I'm combining the next two days mostly because there's so little to write about.

August 27: I woke up to a beautiful sunrise, but couldn't enjoy it much through the thick canopy. The hiking was mundane, with steep climbs and drops--an annoying change from the relatively flat hiking of Oregon. This first part of Washington certainly isn't an agreeable welcome.

In the afternoon, I reached Trout Creek, crossing over a bridge with "I Green Tortuga" written in chalk. Amanda! And just on the other side of the bridge was Amanda sitting outside of her car ready with trail magic for any passing hikers and to meet me. No hikers had passed by, not yet, at least, but I was happy to help myself to some of the trail magic myself. I'd only hiked 18 miles so far today, though, and decided to get in a few more miles before calling it quits.

I told her that I wasn't aware of anyone close behind me and that she probably would not have any trail magicing opportunities. She told me that she saw one thru-hiker crossing on Bridge of Gods, who looked positively scared to death clutching at the railing like his life depended on it. She didn't recognize who it was, though, but at least I knew there was one hiker a day behind me.

This area had been clear cut a couple of
decades ago and is still growing back.
I gave Amanda my pack and switched it out for a smaller day pack, then slackpacked another three miles to Road 54 (Little Soda Springs Road). Signs had been erected saying that no parking was allowed, and Amanda wrote in chalk on the road that she'll check back to pick me up since she wasn't allowed to park nearby.

So I sat down and waited for her. I waited for about 15 minutes before she drove by and picked me up off the trail for the day. Then we headed off to the small town Stevenson, checked into a motel, and I cleaned up. =)

August 28: When I called Amanda from Cascade Locks to figure out exactly where we would meet up on the trail, she told me that there was a letterboxing gathering--a large one--happening in Battle Ground that Saturday, just north of Portland. Actually, it was a weekend-long event, and Amanda asked if I'd be interested in going. I didn't even have to think before I blurted out, "Absolutely!" It would be wonderful to get off the trail for a day--my first zero day since California. A change of atmosphere would be awesome, and Battle Ground was practically right around the corner from where I was on the trail.

So we woke up that morning and headed to Battle Ground where we spent the afternoon with letterboxers--a decidedly strange group of people, but who smelled considerably better than the thru-hikers I usually hung out with. =) I think most people were surprised to see me show up, thinking that I was still on the trail. Well, I was still hiking, but most people didn't realize that I was nearby since by blog by then was so far out of date. I was still hiking through the Sierra snowpack on my blog when I arrived in Washington.

One of the few places with a pretty decent view from the top of a dramatic cliff. =)

Amanda was near. I had a sixth sense about these things.... =)

Unfortunately, Amanda couldn't park here to wait for me, so she left me a
message in chalk on the road saying she'd check back later. So I sat down
and waited.

Amanda and I came back through Cascade Locks on our way to the letterboxing gathering.
Here I get a photo of me with the Bridge of the Gods in the background.

A closeup of the mural under the Bridge of the Gods.

Happy SAHD gives a presentation on letterboxing etiquette.

Kuku works on solving a cipher. At least I think that's what she's doing....

Camp Fire Lady peddles her wares. She seems awfully perky.... =)


Anonymous said...

Happy SAHD was probably talking about something Disney. :) CFL always seems to be perky. :)


Camp Fire Lady said...

Wow! What an honor to be featured in your blog Ryan! I was pretty surprised to see you at my gathering and it was nice to have you and Amanda there.

Camp Fire Lady

Sue KuKu said...

I wasn't surprised to see you, though I was glad both of you came.

I had been reading Amanda's blog and knew you were near.

In fact, I had thought way back of trying to have an event for you at Cascade Locks.

But as you got close to the border, I knew I'd be busy at the Campout.

So it was so fun to have you there and attend my cipher workshop!

You looked skinny and bearded and still was shuddering about the snow (I don't blame you).


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I bet it was great to be back among regular people again and driving in a bigger city, too. I had to laugh at you saying Battle ground was just around the corner, though. Isn't it at least an hour away from Stevenson? :D

Oooh! The letterboxing journals look beautiful and I am needing a new one soon. I wonder if Camp Fire Lady has a website..hmmmm.

Hike On!
~Twinville Trekkers