Sunday, September 14, 2014

PCT Mount Hood to the Columbia River day 2

PCT Mount Hood to the Columbia River day 2
Zigzag Canyon Rim to Muddy Ford Campsite 9 miles

Sunrise from my campsite
I did not sleep very well, the light of the full moon kept waking me up and I could hear animals walking down the trail.

The  plan was to get up at sunrise and start hiking at 7:30, we were both almost ready by then.  I was chomping at the bit so I rushed ahead to Sandy River and told Aimless I would wait for her there.  I had heard that crossing the Sandy River could be dangerous.

Mount Hood and Waterfalls
There were many nice views of the side of Mount Hood and waterfalls on the way to the Sandy River.  In one spot it was not clear where the trail turned so I drew and arrow there for Aimless and others to follow.

Looking up to Hood from the Sandy River bed
I arrived at the Sandy River at about 10:30 and I sat down and cooked my dinner for lunch there.  I knew I was going to be in for a long wait at the river so I figured it would be a good time to have my one cooked meal of the day.   I found a King Bolete on the trail and I added that to my dinner.  It was such a tasty dinner, I felt very satisfied.

(Boletus edulis)
I only ate the stalk, it was still
 good and had no worms in it.

While I waited for Aimless I got to watch several people cross the river.  I found it interesting that everyone had a different strategy.  The first person to cross the river was a German man headed Southbound.  He was wearing heavy black boots and he opted to hop across the river on rocks.  I talked to him about mushrooms and he was totally surprised that I knew the german word for king bolete is "steinpilz".

Next I saw a couple of young men cross.  One man shed his pack and rock hopped across the river.  Then the other man threw both of their packs across the river for the other man to catch.  Then the second man crossed the river.  I wished I had taken a picture of that.

Next I saw an older man with a middle aged woman cross.  They crossed exactly how I had chosen to cross when I first came to the river.  But I still had not crossed because I was waiting for Aimless.

Later  I saw a group of boyscouts (?) cross on a sketchy looking log "bridge"

I think this is the safest way to cross, the man has his shoes on,
The woman crossed barefoot and did not look safe.

At 12:30 I began to wonder where Aimless was so I pulled out my Delorme to see if there were any messages on it and to send a message to my husband.  Three messages in a row from Aimless popped up on my Delorme.

The first message from Aimless said that she lost the trail after leaving it to take a restroom break.  The second message sent an hour later said that she could not find the trail north and she was at a watefall over look.  I took this second message to mean that she was back on the trail but could only find the trail to the South.  I sent a text telling her the the trail was about 25 feet back from the overlook and asking her if I should come back.

The third message from Aimless was sent three hours after the first message and it said she was still lost.  Well now, this was confusing.  Was she still lost in the woods after her bathroom break, or was she lost a second time?

I sent a message asking if she wanted me go back and I decided to stay put until I got an answer, but an answer never came.  Another hour went by and then two more hours went by and still no answers.  Then finally at 3:30 Aimless arrived at the river.  It turned out she had been lost in the woods for three hours after leaving the trail to go to the bathroom.

She had not had a break all day and her legs were covered in scratches from brush crashing.  She was very tired and she said her legs felt like Jello. We both agreed that she should sit and eat before attempting to cross the Sandy River.

Sketchy spot where we actually crossed

We crossed the Sandy on the sketchy log bridge in the picture above.  I was afraid to cross there, but did it anyway after seeing what looked like a troop of eagle scouts, cross there with no problems.  They were very cocky, they were posing and doing selfies on the bridge. I thought that was in bad taste considering they knew that someone died crossing the Sandy river near that spot just couple of weeks ago.

Where I originally decided to cross

Marchantia polymorpha liverwort growing on the bank
of a tributary to the Sandy River

Aimless was very tired from her brush crashing ordeal and it was getting late in the day so we agreed to just go a few more miles to the Muddy river and camp there.  We would now have to do two twelve mile days in a row if we  wanted to make it to Cascade Locks  without running out of food.  In the morning we would decide how to cross the Muddy river.

Looking back down a tthe Sandy River after crossing it
I did not feel like pitching my tent, so I opted to sleep out in the open.  Our campsite was right next the spot where hikers have to cross the muddy river on a makeshift bridge.  I watched this couple of South Bound through hikers cross the bridge.

This guy looks confident as he leads his partner across the muddy river. 
He's lucky he did not trip on the hand rail.

Before this guy could play "follow the leader" I told him the better way
to cross the river here and he was glad for my advice

This was such a strange day for me.  I had spent five hours waiting by the river.   It felt kind of surreal to me, because the time had passed so quickly.

 As soon as I fell asleep some sort of animal brushed across my face and I screamed.  It could have been a mouse, but  I think it was a bat wing as I heard flapping noises against my polycro ground sheet.   What ever that was, I decided that if that happened again I was going to pitch my tarp.  It did not happen again, but at about 1:30 I woke up to find my sleeping bag covered in mist so I got up and pitched my tarp then.

At about 4:30 am I woke up to the sound of rain, so I was very happy to be inside of my tarp tent.

camp near the Muddy River ford

Day 3
Day 4
Day 5

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