Day 145 8-17-07 Tarp Tent 4950′
Silver Creek Trail 1192 – Just past Road 784
26.2 miles; 2364.0 (78.86) total miles; 4232.4 trip miles
60’s, sun with clouds
Days camped alone 25
2007 PCT Critter Tour General Category
1- Deer count is 132
2- Marmot count is 100
3- Elk count is 55
4- Pika count is 32
5- Goat count is 20
6- Slug count is 14
7- Bear count is 7
8- Rattlesnake count is 6
9- Martin count is 1
10- Badger count is 1
I dodged another bullet. The clouds were rolling in all afternoon after it cleared but it failed to rain once more. I woke to a dry tent inside and out. It was pretty chilly in the early AM.
I hiked on the west side of most slopes for the greater part of the morning; so as a result, I wore my gloves for the first time in ages. I traversed mountain sides all morning. In doing so I passed Fog City, Gold Hill, and Union Creek Trails. At the junction with Union Creek, I happened to stop and when I turned around there was her majesty popping over one of the nearby ridges. I had great views of her all the way to Scout Pass, then I descending into a bowl and lost sight of her.
At Blue Bell Pass there were tons of animal trails crossing the PCT. They all headed up to the ridge I was just below. It must have been a major route for the elk, deer, or goats since most all the prints were hooves.
At Scout Pass I entered Lake Basin, which held Basin Lake. Above the lake was a mountain with rocky cliffs and outcroppings. I was told to look for goats. Sure enough, there was a whole herd of them. I used my camera video to zoom in and count them. I couldn’t tell exactly but there were at least 16. It’s amazing how they can traverse those kinds of slopes.
I had it good from Scout Pass, since there was a lot of downhill. I next crossed into Big Crow Basin, where I got water from a trail side spring. Even though I was supposed to be going down, I made a short climb to Barnard Saddle and then Hayden Pass. I climbed again to Martinson Gap, which had great flat spots in little fields.
I then had one of my few climbs to Arch Rock Way trail 1187. It wasn’t difficult, so I made it there in no time. After Arch Rock Way, there was supposed to be the Arch Rock Shelter near Morgan Springs. Once again the book talks about a shelter that’s been gone for years as if it still exists. Its total bullshit that the authors of these PCT books don’t fix these things. This is just one example of the poor quality of these books.
I descended to Louisiana Saddle and then some more to Rods Gap. I had lunch at the Gap. It wasn’t all that warm and without my pant legs on I got cold after about an hour. I packed up and made a short climb past a view of Mt. Stuart, which is very far north, about 4 days. I don’t go near it but to the west of it. Once to the top of my climb, I descended to Government Meadow where I stopped at Camp Urich. Camp Urich is one of the few shelters you can actually stay in. There was a group of 3 and 1 other gentleman there when I hiked in. He was the fourth person I’ve seen with a gun, ridiculous. A bunch of other people showed up looking for a Geo cache, which was at the shelter. One of them wanted to shake my hand like the lady yesterday. It made me feel good. I moved on and quickly passed a historical road which was one of the earliest wagon routes over the cascades. It’s now a jeep trail and I saw about 6 jeeps and trucks leaving down it as I went by. I soon was into a logging area. I went in and out of multiple cuts and even through one burned area. I got water at a spring and pushed on 3 more miles to where I wanted to camp.
I had to cross three roads and the second one had a great view of the Alpine Lake Wilderness and Mt. Stuart. It also had a nice flat spot; but I had looked and the next road appeared to have flat as well. Now the data book said the climb was a .2 grade. That is almost flat. Wrong! The 1.3 miles started with a wicked climb, then a short steep descent, up again, then flat, steep down but longer, and then a super steep climb up to the road. Oh, and no flat spots except the road itself. I had to push on to find a spot. As I crossed the road, the fully grown trees gave away to 9′ baby trees that were so thick you couldn’t walk through them. It was an old clear cut. The trail wound through this and by chance I found a spot just big enough for my tent. I did have to set it up twice since it didn’t fit the first way I tried it. It’s a tight squeeze but I’m in my bag and toasty. It really cooled off as I cooked; so once I was done eating, it was off to the sleeping bag.
Let’s hope I can dodge another bullet tomorrow and have no rain!
Scatman 2011- I hiked a marathon today. A cold one at that compared to what I was used to. Today didn’t have the animals but it did have some good views spread throughout the day. If it had been all clear cut like the end it would have been a sad day. I knew the clear cuts were coming as their are many miles of them south of Snoqualmie Pass. The roads through the clear cuts make navigating touch since they roads change faster than the maps do. You really had to have a good sense of how far you had gone and not how many roads you might have passed. The 4th one in your book might really be the 7th in real life. I was on my toes through here.