Morning Kid had the day off, so we went hiking, starting at Lost Creek State Park, catching the 50-foot waterfall 250 feet? off the parking lot before starting what we thought was to be a 4-hour, 8-mile hike up Lost Creek Trail meeting Foster Creek Trail where we would be picked up by Bamboo after work. To our surprise, Lost Creek Trail intersected Foster Creek Trail about 2 miles in, so we hiked down the two miles down to Foster Creek, which was running deep, cold and fast, about 30-40 feet across, with the snow melt.
About 30 yards up the creek, a log had been felled across the creek, with some short pieces of wood nailed across, like steps for climbing up a pole ladder. Morning Kid gingerly crawled across. At one point, I grew concerned, when her back knee pinned her pants leg down, if she fell in, body flat out, the water so fast, recovering her feet would be very dicey, but she freed her pants leg and proceeded across safely. I started across, but when I put weight on one of the boards, it cracked and tilted. That, the vertigo induced by the streaming water beneath the log, and the thought of tumbling into that cold, fast stream persuaded me to ford the stream. I took my socks off, because they hold the water leading to blisters down the line, put my cell phone and camera in my day pack, tossed my hiking poles across the stream, and began crossing, using the log as my back support. The water wasn’t as cold as I’ve experienced before at Baxter State Park in Maine, but it was over my knees, my shorts were soaked, and the water moving so fast, I could feel my feet move. It took force to push them firmly into place. I was concerned about my feet being caught between rocks, so moved deliberately, exploring the bottom with my feet before planting them in place. By the time I got across, my feet were numbed. After that it was another mile and half down to where the truck was waiting for us, my hiking shoes loose without socks, squishing air in and out with each step, slowing drying them out.
I loved it. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to pull my camera out to take a picture.
The Trail starts at around 6,250 feet, the highest I’ve been since meeting Bamboo and Morning Kid two Januarys ago at the Grand Canyon. Morning Kid had a map. I think she said we would reach 7,500 feet. Crossing the parking lot, already, I was breathing deeply. What we planned to be a four-hour hike, lengthened as I had to stop to catch my breath after every incline up.
Significant snow fell three weeks ago, so there is still snow in the mountains. We crossed stretches of snow and both post holed once up to our knees. The warm weather started here last week sending water rushing down everywhere. The streams in and around town are up to their banks, and barely under bridges. Not so much water on the trail where we started, there, the familiar Northwest wild flowers were out, a few new varieties. As we went higher, we encountered many little streams and springs running across the trail, a few deeper, faster that we could jump across, and one stream we had to cross on a log. The log shifted when Morning Kid crossed, but was steady when I crossed. I thought the log had locked in place, but when I looked up, Morning Kid had stabilized the log by sitting on it. Thanks, Morning Kid. There is a picture below.
We saw a pica in a rock slide, squirrels, and chipmunks. We followed in the steps of a moose for a while, his tracks and droppings on the trail. We saw many moose pellets especially down by the crossing of Foster Creek. I spotted the paw print of a bear, after which we saw bear plops. There were other signs of uncertain origin, dog, bear cub, cat? I cannot tell.
Morning Kid is one tough lady. Apart from her hiking prowess, having completed both the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Coast Trail, she is a Wilderness First Responder, and red-carded forest fire fighter. It was wonderful to hike with her, the best hike I’ve had in a long time.
We took so long to get to the truck, (about 6.5 hours for 11.5+miles), Bamboo had left the truck for us and caught a ride home. After picking him up, we headed to the Hoffbrau for dinner. There Morning Kid and I split the House special pizza with toppings of sausage, peperoni, pepper, olives, onions, etc. with sauerkraut. Not the normal fair, but sauerkraut sweetens with cooking, and the pizza worked. I recommend it. We three split a pitcher of Cold Smoke Scotch Ale, very good beer that I’m having again.