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Showing posts from August, 2014

Crazy

Insanity defined.  Repeating a task, and expecting a different outcome.  In this case, the error was in my believing the weather forecast.  Duh.  What was I thinking?  Everyone knows what zero chance of rain means. And, a cloudless blue morning sky confirms that zero chance.  Right?



It was nice and sunny when I arrived at the trailhead.  No reason to hurry, so I leisurely went about sorting gear and loading my pack.  This would be my first and maybe only backpack trip of the year.  And, depending on the old back, maybe the last, ever.  Just an overnighter, I'd try to go as light as possible. First I had to decide what was optional. Rain jacket?  Nope, won't need it. Extra socks?  What for?  Underwear?  Nah. My mother wasn't around to make sure that I had a clean pair in case of  an accident.  Breakfast.  Breakfast?  Oops, I forgot to pack it.
Ten minutes up the trail I noticed clouds curling over the mountain.  They ghosted their way downslope and soon engulfed the valley…

My Curtis Creek

Everyone should have one.  A secret place where they can go and get away.  Near or far.  Easy to get to, or hard as hell.  Others may know about it, or maybe no one (although few such places exist anymore.)
My Curtis Creek?  It's a place that I fish infrequently.  It takes a bit of effort making it to the water. There's some hiking involved.  Then there's the blowdown.  Most years, I'm content just knowing that it exists.  Every once in a while though, I get the urge to return.
The first visit, I wet waded.  Even in late August, the water was frigid.  I caught fish, but, what I remember most, was the hours that it took to regain the feeling in my lower legs.
I went back a few years later.  This time I packed waders.  It was a bit too early in the season. The water ran swift.  I didn't want to chance wading.  Good move.



More years passed.  I went back, as in a couple of days ago.  The water was lower.  It still ran fast. Did I mention that there's lots of blowd…

Pine Creek Dayhike

Story lines. How to present the days happenings?   I sorted through images from the other day to see where they might lead.
The underlying theme for the day was one of sheer beauty.  What a day.  It was another day for a high country hike.  I stretched the distance.  Now up to five miles.  This one, about 3400 feet elevation gain too.  Its not the longest hike, but with the vertical involved, its not a casual stroll.
First up, Pine Creek Falls.  It was quiet this early.  Later, it gets busy with day hikers wanting for a photo.  Not surprisingly, I was the first one on the trail.  Then again, not too many folks are up at three.




The Pine Creek area burned in 2012.  The fire took out a goodly amount of timber in the drainage, leaving charred tree skeletons.   A dense undergrowth of vegetation carpeted the formerly vacant  forest floor. Remove the tree canopy, let the light in, and stuff grows.  Bedstraw, arnica and spirea flowered profusely.  Their white or yellow flowers contrasted sha…