Saturday, May 3, 2008
South Fork Skokomish and really, really stuck in the snow
What a day this turned out to be! I woke up grumpy but my husband woke up even grumpier and I was glad to get out of the house. I was also excited because the wild life gates opened two days ago and now I could hike three trails that had been closed off to me all winter.
By 10 AM I was almost to the trail head and I was so excited that I managed to get my self stuck in the snow 1.5 miles off of FS-23. The elevation was only 1,000 feet. I did my usual routine, put firewood and sticks under my tires. But my darn Jeep just would not budge. I tried every trick I know but I could not get my Jeep to move a centimeter in either direction. I got cold and wet trying to get unstuck but I never got nervous. At worst I felt annoyed and embarrassed.
It was still early in the day so not too many cars would be coming my way. I decided to rest a bit, make one more attempt to get unstuck and then hoof it out the main dirt road to look for help. I was so relaxed about being stuck that I almost fell asleep. I had plenty of food and water, a cook stove and a thermos full of hot tea. I also had lawn chairs, fire wood and a blanket so if worst came to worst and I had to spend the night out there I would be comfortable. I knew it was not going to come to that though.
After my nap I got out and started to try to get unstuck one last time and it was then that a van appeared. It was a van full of brush pickers and they came to my rescue. I had been hoping for someone with a monster truck to come by and pull me out but that van load of brush pickers was a very welcome sight. There were six men and one woman in the van and it took them one hour to get me dug out of the snow! I had high centered the Jeep so bad that the tires were basically up in the air and could not get any traction. There was bare road all around me but I still managed to get high centered. I bet those nice brush pickers thought I was one crazy gringo!
It was noon by the time I got out of there. Part of me wanted to just go home thinking that I had enough excitement in the woods for one day but the hiker in me won out. I tried to drive up to Spider Lake but there was too much snow there so I turned around and drove down to the Lower trail head.
There was a huge group of WTA trail workers on the trail. Some of them were very efficient young woman. I spent time talking to the more relaxed older folks in the crew. They had logged out the trail for the first four miles and they had two more work parties planned for later in the year.
I did my usual 9 mile loop hike utilizing both the trail and the road. The first four miles of the trail were easy going but the next mile was tougher. There are still massive mud slides, blow downs and wash outs to contend with.
The forest service has started to do it's logging up there but it does not look too bad.
9 miles round trip with 600 Feet Elevation gain.
My rating out of 4 possible mushrooms
38 hiking miles on my new shoes now and a few around campus miles from the day that my normal shoes were covered with mud from clam digging.
This is the trail at 5 miles
WTA fixing up the trail
WTA fixing up the trail
WTA fixing up the trail.. Thanks!
Some yellow flowers, I don't know what they are.