We are training for Mount Adams! Our first get is shape hike was the 14 mile round trip trek to Camp Pleasant on the North Fork Skokomish River.
I was not feeling well, maybe allergies, maybe a migraine I really struggled at the start of the hike. Even at lunch time I did not feel too great, too hot, too headachey, too hungry, too full.
In spite of my misery we decided to look for Darky mine. We thrashed around on the hill in the way too hot heat while way to tired looking for the mine. My GPS(r) map has a way-point for Darky Mine. But all the old way-points on my 1956 GPS map are a bit off.
I knew that a mine had to be in a rock and I could see no rock. We gave up and decided to go up and take a closer look at a waterfall way up on the hill.
It occurred to me that the rock was exposed at the waterfall and in the creek bed. Could the Darky Mine be at the bottom of the creek? We snapped few pictures of the waterfall and headed down to find out. My theory was correct! We found the mine at the base of another waterfall on the same creek.
My daughter was brave enough to crawl into one of the caves and discover that it went back quite far but was filled with water. The water frightened her because there was no way to know how deep the mud was.
I'm very claustrophobic thanks to an uncle of mine (Larry Lieseke) who used to smother me with pillows and other horrible things when I was quite young. Also my mother tying me up and locking me in a closet did not help, but at least I can't remember that.
I only know about that because she told me last mother's day. My mother was dying and she was trying to make things right by apologizing for some of the stuff she did to me. She said I deserved the closet thing because I was being "ornery".
Apparently my mother tortured my aunt and my uncle's a bit when they were kids, but that's okay because they were "ornery". Well at least "ornery: is my uncle's excuse for abusing me when I was a child and what's good for the goose. In all fairness, they were siblings, so it was not child abuse.
Hmmm, my kids are ornery some times. Maybe I should torture them?
Anyway, I digress.
I was terrified of going into the cave and on my first attempt I went right back out. But the cave was so intriguing and my daughter wanted me to go in with her since she was so scared of the water. I went back in, my heart pounding, scared to death. I made my daughter stay close by me and that helped.
The cave only went a few more feet around a corner in the water and the water was not too deep, but it was very cold. The only life we found in the cave was a few cave crickets and some maple seedlings that were doomed due to lack of light in there.
We got really muddy crawling in the cave and it was a hot day, so we both cleaned up by standing under the waterfall. The water fall was quite cold and it was coming down very fast. Standing under that waterfall was so exhilarating that my headache and sickness went away and I had plenty of energy for the hike out.
14 miles with 1,000 feet elevation gain