Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Backpack to Dose Forks on the Dosewallips

View from Dose Forks Camp
I day hike up to the Dosewallips Ranger station fairly often, it’s a nice length for a dayhike and the route is mostly snow free and dogs are allowed there.   However, I never go past the ranger station and onto the trails as dogs are not allowed.  Perhaps I follow the rules too well for my own good. 

This week I changed that.  I took a backpacking trip up the Dose with my daughter and without my dog.  Yes, after all these years I finally got to see the Dosewallips trail and it is very pretty.
On day one we hiked to the ranger station.  My daughter had her new ULA kids sized Circuit pack.  She was very happy to finally have a real backpack that actually fits her.  The pack is adjustable from 12-18 inches so she can keep wearing it until she is full grown and it should be the only pack I will ever have to buy for her.   ULA is the only light weight backpack company that is forward thinking enough to make a kid sized pack and it's made in the USA.

Good quality back packs are expensive and I had to take money out of my savings account to buy this pack.  I also had to take money out of savings to buy my daughter a pair of boots.  The day before the hike I lucked out and got her a pair of track pants for .99 cents, when I found out that she had outgrown all of her non-cotton pants.  No more fancy nylon REI pants for us, we are so broke now.
My small ULA Circuit pack on the left her kids sized ULA Circuit pack on the
right for now I have her adjustable shoulder harness at the smallest setting.
We  hiked to the campground at the ranger station and set up camp at the far end of the campground in a nice meadow.   Dinner was rice noodles with tomato sauce, olive oil and meatballs and it was very yummy.  I added hot sauce to my servings so I could not just eat out of the pot.  I knew that if I could not finish my portions my daughter would eat them, but only if I did not add hot sauce to them.  So, I scooped my dinner from the pot one cup at a time and then added hot sauce.

 We did not use any plastic cups or cutlery on this trip.  Our cook pot is titanium, my daughter's bowl / mug is aluminum and my bowl/mug is titanium.  I had a brand new titanium spoon and my daughter used a normal metal spoon from our silverware drawer.  We cooked everything over my home made Mossy Mom V8/Kitten stove.  We had two hot meals and two hot drinks every day.
I was so happy to wake up at the old car campground in the morning.  Everytime I day hike in there I think to myself, someday I will camp there and maybe even bring my daughter.   I was so happy that it finally happened, I got to wake up in that beautiful spot and my daughter was with me.  But I did not sleep well at all, I kept waking up and I was feeling a tiny bit spooked.  PTSD will do that to a person.
After breakfast we packed up and headed for Dose Forks campsite on the trail proper.  Yay!  I finally got to see the trail.  I was impressed with how pretty the trail was.  It was drier than the Skokomish trails but wetter than the Quilcene trails.  The trees were pretty good sized.
The campground at Dose Forks is beautiful!  It took me quite a while to get my tarp pitched as there were not any suitable spots for tarping it in the rain.  You can’t just sleep in any old mud puddle when you are tarping it!  All the tent sites were below ground level and would only work  if you had a tent with a bathtub floor.
At one point when I was setting up the tarp I tripped over the guy line and I fell pretty hard but I was not injured.  Falling like that rattled me a bit though.  I jammed my left wrist and right shoulder and I skinned my left knee.
That night I forgot to be scared of the dark, so I slept fairly well, but the shoulder that I fell on woke me up a couple of times due to pain.  It did not rain in the night, so I could have gotten away with pitching the tarp anywhere.  At some point in the night after the half moon had set I saw a bright planet,  I think it was Mars.

We got bit by mosquitoes at Dose Forks. 
Camp at Dose Forks
In the morning we packed up and hiked 7.5 miles back out to the car.  This would be the longest hike my daughter had ever done in one day and with a backpack on!  At first she lagged way behind me, I did not like her being out of my sight, but I decided to hike on to the base of the waterfall and wait for her there.   It figures that at that point we would run into the creepy guy that I had trouble with up there two years ago.
He  was going in on his bike as we were hiking out. I saw him just as he crested the hill next to the water fall. We both stopped dead in our tracks about 100 feet away from each other. I pulled out my bear spray and took the safety off and held it casually next to my side hoping he did not see it.

 My daughter was out of sight behind me. I kept looking back for her, I did not want her and the crazy, creepy, unpredictable dude to pass without me there to protect her.  I felt very vulnerable having my daughter there with me but out of my sight.  I was so glad that I had my bear spray.  This creepy guy is the entire reason why I started to carry bear spray.
creepy guy leaving
  Crazy creepy dude did not give us any trouble,  instead he called his dog, leashed his dog, turned his bike around and went back down the hill like a bat out of hell, so he never saw that I had a child with me.  I guess he's as scared of me as I am of him and I like it that way.
After my daughter caught up to me I told her what had happened while she was out of sight.  She did a great job of sticking with me from then on. 

I’m so proud of my daughter she hiked all the way out 7.5 miles without complaining at all!  She had a very light load at that point, but still that was a long walk for her. 
I managed to go through all the vodka (mentioned in my last blog post) on this two day trip and it barely even affected me, so now I know that PMS calls for double vodka rations.  I don’t drink it at all when I am at home, but I do like to have a little nip when I am backpacking.  
We had a good time, but I still wish I had another adult to go backpacking with.  If the weather holds I will take my daughter backpacking again soon. 

One the way home we picked up a hitch hiker in Brinnon.  She was headed to Portland.  She was an interesting character.  She claimed to be an ex- tree sitter, ex -train hopper and an activist in Palestine.  She invited us to visit her friend's farm in Quilcene. 

My next plan is to take my daughter up to do Mount Walker. She's never been up a hill like that, so it should be interesting to see how she reacts.

I managed to lose another p-style on this trip... that's number 5 I think.. sheesh!

When I got home the house was clean and my terminally ill husband was sick in bed.  I got home just in time to turn around and go to the pharmacy to pick up some medication for him.  He had managed to drag himself to the doctor, but he had no strength to go to the pharmacy.  He is taking the entire week off sick and he ran out of sick leave last month.  Money is getting tighter and tighter. 

Hard times are coming, I'm trying not to think about it.  We are already within 150% of the poverty level and it's only going to get worse from here.  If he can't get Social Security Disability we are going to be living at the food bank and using my savings to pay the mortgage. 

He has to make $3,400 this year, then he will have his 40 quarters and will be eligible to apply for disability.   Will he make it or will he bankrupt us with his illness?  He's doing the best he can.  He stands 5'11" and he weighs 120 pounds.  There is no way that he can work much longer.

14 miles RT  with 1,400 feet elevation gain.
Rice, milk, sugar and raspberries from my garden for breakfast

There was a widowmaker tree in this campsite, so the NPS taped it closed

Skinny log bridge on the trail

Wood art at Pass Creek

Bridge at Dose Forks

Our food on the bear wire at Dose Forks

The trail

Chipmunk begs for our food on the hike out

A banana slug, we have to take pictures of every banana slug we see.
Having a light load and a light pack enables her to do this

Track and elevation log

1 comment:

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