PCT 2007 – Day 141 – White Salmon River – Prominent Ridgecrest

Day 141 8-13-07 Tarp Tent 5600′
Spring, 100 yds. Past White Salmon River – Prominent ridgecrest
26.8 miles; 2268.3 (77.46) total miles; 4135.3 trip miles
70-80’s, mostly sun hot
Days camped alone 22

Critter Tour General Category
Deer count is 132
Marmot count is 53
Elk count is 29
Slug count is 13
Pika count is 11
Bear count is 7
Rattlesnake count is 6
Martin count is 1
Badger count is 1
Goat count is 0

!!!The Pika made a bold move closer to the slugs in an attempt to take fourth place back. The Deer also put in another strong showing with 6 points!!!

I woke up at what has become my new regular time of 6:30. I was going pretty quick but made more than one stop due to being too warmly dress. Yesterday was super chilly but today wasn’t as bad.

Mt. Rainier

I climbed right from the get go and as I went up I got glimpses of Mt. Adams through the trees. Even though I was on her lower slopes, she still looked huge. I passed the Stagman Ridge Trail 12 and the Round the Mountain 9 trail. Unlike Mt. Hood where the traverse along its slopes was super steep ups and downs, Mt. Adams was much strenuous. The ups and downs were small and not steep.

Galciers on Mt. Adams

At Sheep Lake (about the 3rd in the last 150 miles) I ran into a young lady and her dog. I got the dogs name but not hers. We chatted a bit then both hiked on long the PCT. She stopped at one point and I said my goodbye. Not too far down the trail, I saw a young man trying to figure out which way to go at a junction. As I approached he saw my appearance and said, I guess that way is the PCT”, referring to the way I had come. His name was Thomas and was from Austin, Texas. He had thru-hiked in ’04 I think. He was hiking different sections of the trail again this summer. He recognized my name from registers down south. As we talked, a couple from Olympia came up. They knew Thomas from earlier that day. They were hiking the PCT in sections. They also did the AT in 2001 like me. We all shot the shit for a long time and finally we all went our separate ways.

Thomas and woman from Olympia

I crossed the milky looking Riley Creek, then the Mutten Creek, another milky one called the Lewis River, passed two trails and finally got to the cold and clear Killen Creek. I used this opportunity to get some good water. Somewhere around here I saw a couple deer. During this section, I passed through a huge wash like the ones on Hood. It amazes me how much water comes off these mountains.

I passed the Highline Trail twice on my descent to the Muddy Fork. When I got to the South Branch, I had lunch in the shade. Towards the end of my lunch I was freezing. The flies during lunch were driving me bonkers. When I got up, I had about ten dead ones on my pad. I had passed three section hikers earlier and they passed me during lunch. Even though they were hiking the PCT, I never passed them again.

Easy walking

When I got to the Muddy Fork itself, it lived up to its name. It was a raging 5 foot wide creek that was brown. I took Thomas’s route across which involved walking across two Alders that fell across the creek from opposite sides. I walked out on one then crossed to the other. It worked great; expect afterwards I had to muscle my way through the trees back to the trail.

I came to Lava Spring next. It’s a spring where the water comes right out an old lava field. I got some water here and as I waited I looked for Pika and saw one. As I hiked on I saw 2 more within a quarter mile.

Goat Rocks

I crossed Road 5603; then when I got to Road 115, I saw a white pickup and the passenger door was open but no one was around. All of a sudden I see a guy. I say hello and he asks if I’m Craig Fowler. I say yes while wondering who the hell he is. He introduces himself and it was Silver’s Dad. Her Mom came down from the trail just after. They were meeting Silver and Backtrack there. They gave me a banana and we sat and talked a bit. I wished them fun on their hike with Silver and Backtrack, and off I went.

My view

I got water at the next stream as the ponds coming up were supposed to have gross water. I crossed Midway Creek and then the climb got steep for a bit. As it flatten out, I started to pass the gross ponds and, of course, the mosquitoes came out to say hi. I stopped at the last pond and took a towel bath since I had so much dirt on my legs and arms. Today was a very dusty day, more so than yesterday. I then got a little confused as to where I was staying. I thought it was closer to the pond I washed up at. It turns out it was over 2 miles further up the mountain. I checked my paperwork and got my head on straight. Just about the time I reached the camp spot, I spooked two does. The chosen camp spot was right next to two small ponds not up the hill as I thought (I saw the camp and actually thought it wasn’t the one I was looking for so I pushed on). I found myself on the ridge and found a sweet little spot with a great view of Goat Rocks. I cooked and attempted to eat outside but the mosquitoes drove me mad. I ate inside my tent and now it’s time to read my book.

Scatman 2011- This was a wonderful day of hiking.  I was dirty and tired at the end but loved it every mile of it.  I had amazing views more of the day, saw lots of wild life and flora, and meet some great people.  Meeting Backtracks folks in the middle of no where was totally random but reminded me that you never know what’s going to be around the next corner when you’re hiking in the woods.

My campsite needed some modifying which I felt slightly guilty for doing but it was so worth it.  I had to widen the spot where my tent went by digging out the side of the slope I was on.  Because of my guilt, when I left I did my best to cover the area with branch and leaves so others might not camp there and make it worse.

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Scatman

Get out there!

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