Day 136 8-8-07 Tarp Tent 1120′
Scout Camp after Sandy River – Blue Ridge Camp
21.4 (5.8) miles; ? (75.46) total miles; 4012.4 trip miles
50-60’s, overcast and some rain. Cleared some in the late pm; Day ? of rain
Days camped alone 20
Critter Tour General Category
Deer count is 125
Marmot count is 53
Elk count is 23
Pika count is 8
Bear count is 7
Rattlesnake count is 6
Slug count is 2
Badger count is 1
Today was the first day I woke to rain. It was less like rain really, and more like the misty clouds from yesterday. It just carried over to today. Even though it was the first one like this on the whole hike, I was still completely bummed out. It really put a damper on my mood and motivation to hike today.
I got up around 6:30 and was going by 7. I went up to checkout the guard station, which was just up the hill from our camp. It had a sign on the door warning you that mice live in the shelter and you could catch the hantavirus if you stayed in it. I went in to check it out and I heard a Pika in the closest. He squeeked at me as I came in. I said hello then left.
I quickly reached Ramona Falls, which was pretty incredible. I got water and enjoyed the view some more. I descended down to a reroute section. I crossed a raging river, on a wet log with only a side rail. After that I had a burly climb which seemed to last forever. My mood didn’t improve with the climb. I passed a guy and two younger teenagers on the way up. They told me I was almost to the top. At the top, I had more or less a descent to Lolo Pass Road 18. Once to the pass, I had another climb but it was pretty mild compared to the first one. I reached Salvation Spring Camp and it still was looking as if it wouldn’t ever clear up. I kept telling the sun to break through. It didn’t appear it was listening.
I found the only dry spot on the trail and sat down for lunch. It was all going well until the wind picked up and it blew in rain. I quickly had to put all my stuff away except for my sandwich and chips. The rain, of course, stopped right as I finished putting all my stuff away. I finished my lunch and read some of my book.
The next trail I passed was Buck Peak Trail. I then started my descent to Indian Mountain Campground. Along the way I traversed through many rock slides and heard lots of Pikas. I stopped each time, but could never see one.
The weather had actually cleared by now. Not more than a quarter mile after lunch, I broke out of the misty clouds. I had finally gotten below them. I could see blue sky and sunlight. It seemed the sun was listening to me after all. At one of the rock slides, I took out my wet tent to dry it.
I reached the campground and met two guys who had just come up the way I was going down. I said hello and got some water at the spring before taking off. They said Silver and Backtrack were 3 miles ahead of me. The trail I was taking was not the PCT but a side trail to Eagle Creek Falls. Pretty much everyone takes this route instead of the official PCT. It’s much more scenic with many water falls. The trail down to the Eagle Creek Trail was the steepest descent I’ve done so far this trip. It burned the thighs good. Once to the Eagle Creek Trail, the tread got easier and I made good time. The trail descends into a river gorge falls, pools, and high cliffs. I passed a family camping along the river and then saw my first falls. They were super impressive and very tall. As the water first fell, there were two shoots of water falling and they crossed. The trail had been blasted into the rock walls of the gorge I was now in. They even mounted cables so you could hold on. As I rounded the corner I sensed I was coming up on Eagle Creek Falls itself. You actually walk through a tunnel cut out of the rock behind the falls themselves. As I turned the corner, there it was. It was an awesome sight. The falls were maybe 150′ tall and fell into a large rocky pool at the bottom. Walking behind the falls was cool. Everything in the gorge was green with moss or algae. The whole thing was a sight to see.
I went on just a short ways to Blue Ridge Camp and made camp. I had some dinner and then cleaned up at the river. My left foot was still hurting so I soaked it a while in the cold water. My feet were all pruned from being wet all day. The rash on my ankle didn’t look much better either and is starting to worry me.
Scatman 2011- As I mentioned the day didn’t start that well but it cleared up for me. In relative terms today was a short day compared to late. I need it as I was tired. The best part of the day was definitely Eagle Creek Falls and all the bowls and waterfalls. It’s an impressive trail if you ever get the chance to hike it, do it.
As I hiked I could feel the pull of my next state line. Tomorrow I would be in my home state of Washington. I did my best to take in the sights before me but my mind did wander a bit. I mention a rash on my ankle which was concerning me. It looked like a spider bite. It was swollen and red. It was nothing that was going to stop me from hiking but I still worried. I had come too far to stop now.
Get out there!