This hike was really about having a little more of a challenge. I’ve been sticking to hikes I feel comfortable with, and this one scared me… just a little. It’s not the longest hike I’ve done, or the most elevation gain, but it is the most I will have done solo. Also, it just felt more secluded. I don’t know how true that is, but that’s how it felt. Hiking solo as a woman can be intimidating. I want to be brave and bold… but not stupid.
Heading out to Lowell, OR, I had to snap a quick picture of the covered bridge as I went by (very slowly, watching for traffic). I was going to take a better picture on the way home, but I’ll address that at the end. There’s actually a parking area and you can read about the bridge and walk close to it.
Out in the boonies, on a one-lane gravel road, I saw this and laughed. A pedestrian sign out here? But it’s very close to the trailhead, so it was a pretty nice thing to warn people about.
At the actual spot, there’s a couple of more signs. There was one more that was knocked over, and I was going to check it out, but I got distracted and forgot, darn it!
Great signage – there were actually several of the little metal circle along the way, which was nice. I mean, it would be extremely unlikely to get lost (it’s pretty much just one path), but it’s still encouraging somehow.
When I first approached the trailhead, I saw the road. I thought it was weird that it started out as a road… but then I noticed the trail to the right. Aha!
The trail muddy in several areas (and slippery!), and quite narrow.
It looks like there was a sizable tree fall (or more than one) that left a lot of carnage around the trail here. Somebody did a pretty good job of clearing the path though.
This view is just a bit up the trail. Strangely, there isn’t much of a view except for this one. I was hoping for something at the top, but there’s a lot of trees (go figure).
This Gold Dust Lichen was amazing in person! The color is an incredible neon yellow – my first thought was that somebody painted the rocks until I realized it was lichen. Just beautiful!
I didn’t realize this was a lichen, but what a great name! This stuff grows all over the Pacific Northwest, as far as I know. It hangs from trees and looks ghostly at times.
I wish I could have gotten a better angle, but from everywhere I stood, it looks like this fallen tree is being held up off that boulder by one branch! I don’t know how this is possible, but everywhere I looked, there was nothing else holding it up.
Those Western Rattlesnake Plantains are the same, just a little different marking. I think this was the first time I’ve seen that plant. It looks like a houseplant, especially the first one.
For the following video, please have your sound on.
The video doesn’t quite do it justice – it was so loud! I felt like I was in a jungle! This was the only spot on the trail where the birds were this active.
All of the running water I saw was a bit cloudy. I’m not sure what causes that.
Here I found some remains, and next to it some very hairy skat. It may have been cougar, but I can’t be sure. I’m not quite an animal poop pro yet. (haha)
I guess nobody is driving to the top for a while. At least, not until they clear the way!
More cloudy water. I wondered if it were a mineral in the water that makes it cloudy like it is?
This is a hike with some dense foliage, so when the sun broke through, it was wonderful.
I got to the end of the trail at a closed road. I followed the road a short distance to this road.
In the middle of the “u” of the road is the Pacific Crest Trail. I didn’t go beyond this point, as my hike was over. That will have to be for another hike, another day.
Halfway done, ready to head back down.
I think this is the same sunny spot, just on the way back. I enjoyed it so much, I took another picture, apparently. Haha!
Another shot of that view… it’s so nice!
Awww, what a sweet sight to behold: lovely Matilde! When I got back to this point, I really needed to pee (sorry to be so blunt). I think some of you may have read my postings about women’s urinary devices… I had used one on this hike and had some minor issues. This time I decided to use a device that started my trials with women’s urinary devices, the Venus to Mars.
For those of you who may not be familiar, I’m trying these out because having to pee in the wild is not all that convenient for women. We have historically squatted, which can lead to urine splattering on our pants, socks, and shoes. Also, you have to bare yourself to the world in order to squat. So I am trying to find a good device that will let me relieve my bladder in the woods, without baring my behind or getting urine on my clothing.
Let us just say that this last venture was NOT successful in keeping urine off my clothing. Did I sit on my hoodie on top of a garbage bag in my new Jeep? Why, yes. Yes I did. But I shake my fist to the sky and say, “I WILL find a great urinary device! I will not keep peeing on my pants! FREEEEEDOM!!!”
Distance: 5.58 miles; Elevation Gain: 1,442 feet