|Camp in the morning|
|Hiking out of camp|
We did not have to stick our thumbs out for long before we got a ride. It took me about half a mile to figure out it was our campground host who had picked us up. She was on her way to do laundry. She sighed at us and said we were standing on the wrong side of the road to go to the pizza place but she would take us there anyway. The road was just a loop around the lake so there really was no wrong side.
The south shore pizza place was nice but expensive, so I only ordered a small pizza and it cost $17.00 and it did not fill us up. I topped up the charge on my Ipod and Delorme while we ate.
|View from South Shore pizza|
The view from the pizza place was nice and the cook was friendly. While we were eating the campground host came into the store to buy something she looked at us, but did not say hi to us. She was a funny person, but nice enough.
Refreshed from sleeping in and eating pizza I decided that we would just hike 1-2 miles up the Thieson Creek trail or the Howlock trail to a water source and then pitch our tarp and camp. Today was going to be an easy day to make up for the hell of yesterday. When I left the pizza place it was not clear where the trail was and we did not want to walk down the highway, so we walked down a bike trail in a campground.
My daughter lagged behind, really behind. She claimed that her back hurt. But she had almost no weight in her pack! I had almost all the food and water and her base pack weight is only ten pounds. How could her back hurt?
She sat down, but I kept walking in the hopes that she would get up and follow me. After about a quarter of a mile I sat and waited for her. I had to wait for a long time and I was getting very frustrated. My daughter should be hiking better after having pizza and sleeping in and we were only going to go a little ways today. But at this rate we would be hiking in the worst heat of the day. I wanted to get to the forest and find some on trail water before the sun got too high in the sky.
We still had not even found the trail but it looked like somehow we had gone past it. It was very confusing, it turned out we were not on the road we thought we were on. How was I ever going to find the trail with my daughter going on a sit down strike every tenth of mile?
Finally my daughter caught up to me where I was sitting, but only to stop again and this time she never did get up. I told my daughter that there was a place to buy ice cream ahead and I kept hiking again hoping she would follow, I went another tenth of a mile and then had to sit and wait for her again. I waited until I lost my temper and then I turned around and stormed back to where she was. I told her, no, yelled at her, that our hike was over. There was no way I could put up with 324 miles of this. There was no way we could hike from one water source to the next without getting dehydrated if she had to sit every tenth of a mile.
There was no way I could cope with this shit anymore. I had reached my limit. The hike was over! The only way to get her down the trail would be to beat her with a stick and that might have made her dislike hiking. The hike was over. The trip was over, it was time to take my daughter home and try to get back down to the trail on my own.
I'd reached my limit of putting up with her sit down strikes and I knew that we would not be safe up on the trail hiking at this sluggish pace. I could not carry my daughter up the trail, the hike was over before it had even started. I still had elevation sickness, maybe I could get myself up the trail, but I could not get both of us up the trail and if my daughter was not having fun what was the point of taking her?
I found an inviting looking porch at a forest service information center. The center was closed. I was hoping that someone in the center could tell me where the trail was even though the hike was over. But the center was closed, looked to be getting a paint job.
The porch was nice and shady and it had two very comfortable chairs on it. I decided that we would sit right there until I could think again and figure out a way to get home. People in RVs kept pulling in and asking where the RV campground was. It seems that everyone was lost at Diamond Lake.
I asked the folks at the car campground pay station if they could ask people who were checking out and headed to Washington if they would give us a ride. They offered to let me use their phone and suggested that we hitch hike 300 miles back to Olympia or pay to camp at their campground, but that was it. Hitch hike 300 miles with a ten year old? I don't think so. They would not check to see who was from Washington and might give us a ride and with my daughter on strike I could not walk around and look for Washingtonions. My daughter is only ten so I think she is too young to leave by herself.
I thanked them and left without taking them up on their offer to use a phone. I had already contacted all my peeps via my Delorme, so I had no use for their phone. I should have known better than to hope for any kind of real help from them. I only went over to ask them because they had told my daughter that they would help.
So we sat in the shade on the porch at the info center. There was a water fountain and a bathroom nearby. The porch was a great place to sit and try to figure out a plan to get home. We had plenty of food and water, we could have camped there for a week if need be. There was a guy painting the building but he did not mind us being there.
A few hours later the painter guy came up to us and asked us if we were stranded. I said that we were sort of stranded but would find a way home. My husband could not get us due to his emphysemia. My friend Dan said he could not get us, but did not say why. My mother was in the hospital, so she could not get us. Tam, the fried how had driven us down had to work so she could not get us until Sat. and my father is a... oh never mind.. lets not go there.
The painter whose name was John helped me to read the map and to see that the trails did not connect with the road we were on, the trails were actually up on highway 138. I knew that the elevation was confusing me and making it difficult to read maps and I wished that I had my topo map in my gps instead of just a street map and the horrible map the campground host gave me. That horrible map did not even show the road we were on, so I thought we were on highway 138.
Later a forest service guy came by and said he had heard of our plight from the camp ground staff and he wanted to know if we had a plan. He was not at all interested in hearing our story, he was in a hurry and he just wanted to know if we had a plan. Thanks for caring!
He told us there was a campsite down the road two miles near the pizza place where we could camp for just a donation. I know for a fact that it was a free campsite and I told him so. He confirmed that I was correct, it was indeed a free campsite. No matter, I already knew the campsite was there and I knew that my daughter was not going to make it two miles to the campsite.
The forest service dude wandered off to bag up some clothes that had been left in the bathroom, he was far more interested in the clothes in the bathroom than he was in us. So I did not bother to tell him that I had found the clothes in the bathroom garbage can and I had pulled them out to look at them. Let him bag up the clothes and look for the owner, if those things were more important to him than us people, I was not going to try to stop him.
I planned on stealth camping in the woods somewhere. John the painter came back around and told me about a free campsite that was close enough for even my daughter to walk to. John really seemed to want to help us.
So I let him show us the camp site and I decided it would be a good place to camp. Then John went to the store and got us some cold drinks, such a nice guy! John even offered to give us a ride to Roseburg on Monday and got us the phone number for the Greyhound. But it was Wednesday, so waiting until Monday would not have been pleasant.
When John came back with the drinks he let me use his cell phone to call my husband. My husband and I agreed that I would spend the rest of the day resting and that in the morning maybe I would be able to think straight again and make an escape plan.
John was from a valley Washington state and he confirmed that he gets elevation sickness at 6,000 feet. We had been elevation sick for sure. We had gone up to 8,000 feet on the rim and even Diamond Lake was at 5,000 feet. We live at sea level, so we were 5,000 feet above the level we were acclimated to even at Diamond Lake.
|Our camp behind the information center|
|Dragon fly on my sleeping pad|
|Bryoria lichen in the campground|
It was cold in the night, the first sign of fall said John.
I decided that in the morning we would stand at the exit to the campground and try to get a ride with campers who were checking out. We could go to Roseburg and take the Greyhound bus home, or go to Chemult and take the Amtrak train home. I opted for Chemult since the bus did not sound fun and I knew where the train platform was in Chemult. I had no idea where the Greyhound station in Roseburg was. Also someone got murdered at the Greyhound Station in Olympia while try to get to Shelton a few years back, so I was kind of scared of that bus station.
|Diamond lake sunset|
|A nice place to sit for a long time|
|I could have easily gotten back on trail|
if I had not had my daughter with me