Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Another Boring Day in the Woods....

This would be what the view looked like
pretty much the entire day. Nice,
but kind of boring, all things considered.
August 25: In my journal, I had this warning for myself about the day's adventure: "You'll have a tough time filling in today. It was, by all accounts, an extremely boring day. Mostly walking through woods with very few views." It's hard to spin that into something exciting or interesting. =)

Late in the day I was starting to wonder if this would be the first time I'd not see another single, living soul for the entire day. Not seeing northbound hikers was becoming a regular occurrence, but it was still unusual to hike so far without seeing any southbound hikers either. I didn't see my first living, breathing person until a few miles from where I camped, at about 5:30 in the afternoon. A couple of guys hiking up from Eagle Creek as I was hiking down. An hour later, I passed one last person for the day.

Eagle Creek isn't official PCT tread--the official trail climbs up and over Benson Plateau, a dull, forested route with no views. Almost all PCT hikers take the Eagle Creek route instead for the spectacular waterfalls along that stretch. I've done both routes in the past and had nothing to prove either way and decided for the more scenic of the two options.
The one downside about so few people
on the trail, you get to break a lot
of cobwebs on the trail. Not fun....

I set up camp at the first campsite I came across along the creek, just before reaching Tunnel Falls. I didn't like the campsite much. It's really a great place to camp--next to a pretty creek and readily available water source--which is the thing I like least about it. It means a lot of people have camped there in the past, and rodents tend to be much more problematic at such campsites. It was also under a thick forest canopy making the site much darker than it would have been if it was out in the open. It felt positively claustrophobic compared to most of my campsites. So I can't say I was particularly thrilled about the selection, even though I could understand perfectly well why such a location would be so popular. I guess I just follow a beat of a different drummer.

During the night, I did find a mouse trying to get into my bag. It seemed most interested in my Wheat Thins, which I then strung up in a tree where I thought it would be less accessible to rodents. The rest of the night went by without incident, and no more of my food had been pillaged by rodents. I hate camping in popular locations.

One of the view places with a view, but only because they cut down the trees for these power lines.
Which really doesn't improve the view much. This is Mount Hood, now well behind me.

No idea what these are, but they sure are bright!

One short section with a genuinely good view! This was my first view of Mount Adams from the trail,
and the first major mountain the PCT hits in Washington state.

Wahtum Lake


Anonymous said...

I know I would never, ever, call a day in the woods....boring!!!! Especially in the woods you are in!!!


Anonymous said...

That photo of Wahtum Lake is gorgeous... and the writing under it is the only entry short enough to not get chopped off at the right side. (Wonder what's causing that?)



Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Only boring to a thru-hiker I suppose. I, too prefer the wide open spaces, but it seems as if there was so much diversity of trail conditions on your hike that it should have been more interesting for you.

That photo of Volcano Adams *grin* is kind of spooky and ominous especially because it looks as if it's floating in space.

Creepy about the spiders and mice. Have you ever discovered any evidence of creepy critters trying to crawl onto or inside your sleeping bag?

Hike On!
~Twinville Trekkers