Thursday, November 29, 2012

Duckabush is for the Ducks today!

Three incredible fungi sharing one log
Fungi on the bottom is the fall oyster mushroom

When I was at the REI garage sale moths ago, I picked up a Sierra designs hurricane rain jacket for $20.  I did not need a rain jacket at the time and it was a bit big for me, but could not pass up such a good deal.  Well it turned out I did need a rain jacket since my new Marmot jacket is crap!  Today I wore the Sierra designs jacket and stayed much dryer.  The hurricane jacket has sealed seams and a nice chest pocket.

 For some reason I have always thought of Sierra designs as lower quality than Marmot.  No more..  I'm so glad I picked up that coat! Chance of rain is 100% all week and my 1/2 price eVent jacket is back ordered.. without the Sierra Designs jacket I'd be housebound this week.  This jacket has really poor ratings, feels very fragile and the zippers are bad, but it's keeping me dryer than the Marmot jacket so far.

I wanted to do the Dry Creek trail today, but I figured Dry creek would be too high to cross, so I diverted to the Duckabush.  As I drove to the trail head the rain was really lashing down and I knew I was going to get soaked yet again today.

I thought I would wander about 6 miles down the Duckabush to the park boundary, with Patches the wonder dog.    But the trail was suitable only for ducks today!  The Duckabush river was huge and was flowing fast. But that's not all; there were rivers flowing across the trail!

I was really surprised to see two cars at the trail head when I arrived.  I soon found the cars belonged to a group of older hikers who were turned back by the first scary river crossing and who tried to warn me against it. But I had to go see it for myself.
I could have crossed the river where it crossed the trail if I felt like wading, but I did not feel like getting my feet wet and cold so early into my hike.  I picked my way quite a ways upstream until I found a dry looking place to cross. 

First scary river crossing on the trail
 What I found was two logs partially spanning the river.  On the first log my left foot fell through and almost landed in the river because the log was rotten.  Then I stepped onto the second log and the  second log sunk.  My right foot went down the the bottom of the river and the river tried to pull my whole body down, but I pulled my foot out and made it across the River.

Next it was Patches turn to cross, but  Patches did not approve of where I crossed.  She made it across the first log but was afraid to make the jump from the first log to the second log.  So she went back across the  first log and back down stream in search of a saner place to cross. I really did not like her going out of my sight.  It looked like she was heading back down to where the river crossed the trail.  We were separated for a very long 3 minutes as I picked my way back down to the trail and then we were reunited on the trail. I don't know for sure where she crossed but I sure was happy to see her again!

Then right before the trail heads up Big Hump I remembered I forgot to hang my forest pass frown.gif and then where was another river crossing the trail. The second crossing looked too scary to do with a dog.  If one slipped they would fall down a waterfall!  So I turned around. But instead of having a nice relaxing lunch and a hot tea,  I raced back to my car to try to avoid getting a ticket for not having my pass displayed. I got away with it.. whew...

On the way back across the first scary river I just waded on the trail while holding on to Patches collar. At one point the water shoved Patches into my leg but I was able to keep us both upright with help from my trekking pole and I got us both across the river together.

6 miles in about 2 hours.. rained hard the entire time but my Sierra designs raincoat kept me dry.

After I reached my car I hung my pass and then used the outhouse.. remember you can't use the outhouse unless you have a pass. Then after warming up I drove down to the Rangerhole trail and hiked it for the very first time. The Rangerhole was a raging torrent! 
I could have sat and watched the river for a long time but Patches was shivering from the wet and the cold so I did not stay for too long.  I saw two soggy chanterelles on the Rangerhole trail.


Today's total:  8 miles (13 kilometers) with about 400 feet (120 meters) elevation gain

Profile only for Duckabush trail  Rangerhole trail is Red

I was really surprised to see other cars at the trail head
Notice the burn ground where the three torched cars were parked

This is where I turned around

Add caption
Warming up in my car while inspecting the burn site

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