Saturday, November 15, 2014

Day 48

We fried pancakes for breakfast and spent most of the morning getting ready for a hike up to Expedition Pass.  A 12 mile hike.  Jeremiah was re-doing his pack with the smaller size hip belt he had exchanged for along with a general reorganizing.  I wondered just how much I should carry, how much faith I had in us making it the 12 miles before dark.  

The toilets are quite nasty here at Bear Creek.  Neither of the doors lock and one won’t even shut.  Normally that wouldn’t bother me, but with a camp this busy …. slightly concerning.  I took to bringing Emily with me and leaving her outside the door to give people a clue. 

I pulled out my “new” pack and stuffed what I thought I might need for rain and cold, water, flashlight, and everyone’s lunches.  The boys were carrying all the survival gear so I figured the least I could do was carry their food.  The perk I realized later is that … food gets eaten.  :)  We left Mom at camp.  Joshua liner her out with the shot gun and we ascertained that there was an inside latch on the bear locker if need be.  She rehearsed our itinerary out loud to herself several times.  We took off about 12pm.
The middle peak is Sphinx Mountain.

The road on the map ended up being a gated drive with a  call box and 5 mail boxes.  Jeremiah called and got an answering machine.  He turned the car around so we weren’t blocking the gate and leaned up agains the van, scouring maps on the phone for an alternative route.  He talked to a  guy that drove up shot old him there wasn't a way through Sun Ranch, but to go to Beaver Creek and take a trail from there. 

Off we went, past Quake Lake which ha been formed with its river by an earthquake.  There were dead trees still standing in the middle of the river and edges of the lake.  We passed signs for geological points called Night of Terror and Ghost Town.  Sounds like some interesting history there!

Up at the trailhead, we proceeded with last minute preparations.  There were several rusk, a trailer, and a tent camp up there.  Several minutes down the trail, Jeremiah called a halt.  We weren’t on the right trail.  We could go back and around or bushwhack between the two which would be shorter.  So down the hill we went, across a creek, and to the top of the next ridge, using fallen trees like a latter along the branches to get any traction.  

The correct trail was just as muddy as the first.  They all appeared to be heavily used by horses and recently too with all the elk hunting.  We walked along the edge of the riches most of the way through woods and across small meadows.  There wasn’t always room on the top edge of the ditch, so we were often walking and sliding along the inside banks. 

Then Joshua called a halt to tape a hot spot on the back of his heel.  I began to think of the folks back home preparing to hike their many miles for Blast! fundraising for DM.  

Back on the trail!

This was supposed to be of me and Jeremiah, but taking group selfies while tripping over rocks and slipping in mud ...
it's tough.  :P

Love you muchly.

A couple hills later, we stopped again.  This time Joshua said he could probably only make it back to the car without serious blistering.  We got out some lunch and check our miles in and maps.  We were about 2 miles in.  Jeremiah knew there was no way we could get to the pass and back wight he amount of daylight we had left, but was hoping we could at least get to the cleaning 4 miles in for a good view.

We ended up leaving Joshua and Buddy, much to Buddy’s dismay and double timing the second 2 miles.  We caught up with an elk hunter from Michigan, his first time out here.  We talked for bait and then wen ton.  The view wasn’t very good from the cleaning and Jeremiah was a bit disappointed.

On the way back we met the hunter again.  He scared Emily … I don’t think she recognized him as human.  She stood and just looked at him for a long time.  When he got really close she bristled and started barking.  She backed off a bit when he got right next to her and then took up barking again.  I tried to reassure her.  She was quiet then, but sniffed him as if he was an unpredictable animal.  She then calmed down.

Looks like somebody took after this with an ax!  Stubborn.  Until the guy with the saw came along!

We got back to Joshua and heard that buddy had whined and moaned the entire time we were gone.  he put on an extra layer of socks and we headed back.  Much of the bottom land was like hiking through a barnyard and Joshua had many very uncomplimentary things to say about horses and their trails.  :)

It was well after dark when we got back to the van.  I was tired and damp, very thankful for the heater and day dreamed of hot soup, hot shower, comfy couch, and a good movie on the way back to camp, knowing that only one of those would actually happen.

They were predicting pretty low temps, so we cooked rice and a can of soup on the stove inside the tent.  We would have had hot cider except there was no clean pot and washing a rice pot in icy water didn’t sound very appealing to me.

A big horse trailer had pulled in next door.  He was expecting his son-in-law in another camper later in the evening and wondered if it was okay to squish our site a bit.  All the other campsites were occupied.  He had other family coming in tomorrow.  I told him we were moving on in the morning and that the was welcome to expand all he wished.  He was a rather unconfident type and thinking he was hiding those insecurities with drink.  He was quite kind though and even offered to let us eat dinner in the back of the horse trailer which as heated and had been cleaned out and turned into a sort of patio for their stay.

I dressed as warmly as possible and slept well.

5,875 miles in. 


  1. I am really confused Jess, this morning I see a post on facebook saying you are home, today is the 15th, just finished reading this blog page dated the 15th, but the 15th isn't over yet and you are still camping????????????????

  2. Well, the sad reality is that I don't think I've ever gotten a day posted on the actual day. Usually it's about four days later. I am actually back in Eminence now, but I'm still working on finishing telling you all about it! There's more to come! We're just getting to the exciting part. :P