Day 132 8-4-07 Tarp Tent 5275′
Just past Santiam Lake Trail – Scout Lake
31.7 (3) miles; 2040.1 (75.46) total miles; 3909.8 trip miles
Days camped alone 18
Critter Tour General Category
Deer count is 120
Marmot count is 53
Elk count is 23
Pika count is 8
Bear count is 7
Rattlesnake count is 6
Badger count is 1
Wow! I woke up to some major dew. My tarp tent was sagging big time. It was also cold as shit. My hands got all wet from the tent and it was hard to get them warm afterwards. I got a late start, maybe around 7 AM.
My day started with a climb, but luckily it had some nice views along the way. At one point I sat on some cliffs above Wasco Lake. My first water stop was at Rockpile Lake. I filled up and had a snack.
Most of the day was climbing with short steep downhills. I made it to a nice spot around 12:15 and decided to stop and have lunch. I took all my wet gear and laid it out to dry. I read my book some to give the stuff more time to dry which seemed to work since everything was dry when I decided to leave.
As I made a short descent, I ran into my first official Southbounder. Her name was Sarah. She was only doing another 1000 miles or so but she started at the Canadian border. She told me Ironman and Duke were not far in front of me. I have been just behind them for days. I passed the next two water sources by mistake but it was okay since I still had enough. I met my second Southbounder, Jason (Lost & Found) as I descended some tight switchbacks. After talking to Jason, I had a long gradual traverse to Shale Lake, where I filled up and had another snack. I saw some weekenders there and envied their spot since it had a great view of Mt. Jefferson.
I would pass 3 couples on the way down the next descent. Each one told me Ironman and Duke were 1 hour or so in front. Then just as I got to Milk Creek I found them in the only two open spots in the giant wash next to the creek. I stopped and cooked dinner while I talked to them. It turns out Duke is from Sammish, WA. He use to work in Kirkland too.
I decided to push on to make my day into Olallie Lake short and give myself more time with my friend, Scott, who was driving down from Seattle to spend the night with me. I crossed the creek, which first involved descending a near vertical 15 wall cut out by the creek. Everyone there made a big deal out of getting down and I made it look like nothing. I played it off to all the miles I already did.
I had a 1.6 miles climb to the Woodpecker Trail and it was a steep grade. Once up there, I hoped for a flat spot but there were none. I descended to a small pond where I heard Pikas calling from the rock slide next to it. All of a sudden I heard clapping. A hiker then came into view. He stopped and asked me where Scout Lake was. I told him 4 miles the opposite way you’ve been going. He couldn’t believe it! He asked me where I was headed and honesty I was just about to set up camp right there. He then said it would be great if I hiked with him. I said why not, even though my right quad was aching. We took off uphill in a tear and soon Scott (the lost hiker, not my friend) and I had to stop for a food break. We fueled up and then finished the climb before descending to Russell Creek. I had been told this creek was 4′ deep at the crossing and would need to go 50 yards up stream to cross. I went 10′ and didn’t even get wet. The cold had slowed the melt and the depth was down.
Scott and I climbed a short bit and then got to a junction, which I had wrote a note about paying attention to in my book. Scott had come from the right and I thought, and so did he, that we came from the PCT. The odd thing was that the trees in both directions had the markings cut into them that signify the PCT. We went left the way he came and about three quarters of a mile later, I checked the map and figured out we were going the wrong way. We doubled back to the junction and headed off to the right this time. It was almost getting dark now. We cross Whitewater Creek where I found a big Swiss Army knife which I gave to Scott. We were headed uphill and Scott saw a possible side trail. I checked it out and there were trails all over. It had to be the lake. I called him to follow and we headed towards the nearest voices. We were looking for his four friends. It turns out Scott only had food but no stove, a sleeping bag, but no tent, etc. He really needed to find his friends. The first people were a bunch of drunken guys, the next 4 less drunk guys, and then we just went around the whole lake. Scott would yell their names but no luck. It’s now 9:30 almost and I’m ready to be vertical.(see how tried I was, horizontal is what I meant)
We finally circled the whole lake and never find them. Scott says he’s going to hike out in the dark and make his day a 20 miler and drive all the way back to Portland. I made sure he had enough light and wished him a safe trip home. I also gave him my email so he could tell me how it all turned out.
Once he left, I put up my tent ASAP and was vertical (horizontal) in no time. The drunken guys were yelling and I feared it was going to be a long light. Luckily they went to sleep or passed out shortly after, and so did I.
Scatman 2011- This was a long long day. The views were amazing. I met a ton of people and covered a huge distance. When the lost hiker, Scott found me I was already pretty tired. I was seconds from pulling out my tent and other gear to set up camp for the night. If he had been a few minutes later I probably would have stayed put.
The fact that he did come along was good. Hiking the extra 4+ miles helped the next day as it took me longer than I thought. Scott, my friend would be waiting for me. I never did hear from Lost Scott which is too bad. I wanted to hear where his friends were and how badly he yelled at them for ditching him. I would like to yell at them too. When he finally left me I was exhausted. All I wanted to do was get in bed and sleep. I actually had a headache from being so tired. It didn’t take me long to fall asleep.
Get out there!