We were back on the Pacific Crest Trail again and after spending an entire day hauling and moving trailers along the 100 mile expected route we finally settled in at Triangle Lake outside of Olallie Lake. We were all exhausted and luckily Emily had the tents set up so we could just hit the sacks at about 1 AM, even Judy who picked us up at the remote trailer drops decided to spend the night in her car rather than drive all the way home since it was so late.
We just piled our stuff on the picnic tables and callled it a night!
Karen and Rusty were the first up and ready the following morning to head out. Issy and Emily's horses were packed and ready in just a few moments and we were on the trail!
We traveled to Warm Springs all along the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, the travel was easy but since we had such a long night before Issy was glad to be on the line. He seemed to understand that home was where we camped.
Karen having a bite to eat with her baby blue camp shoes on!
Emily and her two horses grazing.
Issy found the best grass close to a downed tree and would have been happy to just graze for hours but we had to move on.
We rode only 9 miles to Joe Graham Horse Camp where Rusty and Issy had a corral and Emily high lined her two. We met with the camp host and he agreed to take Emily to Barlow Pass and Devil's Half Acre to drop off her truck and trailer which only took an hour but it was so helpful because we had a 19 mile ride tomorrow and would have had to come back for her trailer to move it to Riley Horse Camp many miles up trail. This was the kind of Trail Angel help we had all along the way! There were many campers at Joe Graham but it seemed they were there to enjoy a few days of riding and not the remote riding we were on.
We left Joe Graham Horse Camp and followed along side of Timothy Lake.
As our destination for the night was Barlow Pass we had to cross Hwy 26....This Hwy is 4 lanes wide, on a curve and incline. The traffic was like a swarm of determined bees, not letting up for any reason. This was Rusty's first encounter with 18 wheelers blowing and tooting.....She was almost uncontrollable but somehow Karen got her across without incident. The steady, good sense of the other three horses helped but Rusty was very shaken and not calming down for a 1/2 mile or so. We finally got to Barlow Pass and it was still light enough to make some decisions about the snow bound trail at Mt Hood. We decided to trailer around and skip the next 8 miles of snow. When we pulled into Riley Horse Camp the sites were almost all taken so this would mean that Issy and Rusty would have to be highlined and I probably wouldn't get much sleep but again a couple of Trail Angels came to our rescue and offered some empty corrals at their camp sites. By the time we got Issy and Rusty settled Emily's high lined horses were already relaxing and snoozing for the evening!
Knowing that we had over 20 miles to our next camp at Lolo Pass so we headed out early, following the Sandy River Trail crossing it several times. The feeder trail to the PCT was not well marked but my GPS showed we were at least heading in the right direction. We climbed and switch backed on a very marginal trail and I had my fingers crossed that we would not have to back track and only once when the trail forked did we have to retrack. It was wonderful to see the PCT sign after such a long climb. We had to cut 7 trees and go around a boulder but we made it!
Leaving Lolo Pass we headed along the trail where there was some wonderful views of Mt St Helens, Rainier and Mt Adams. It was shortly before here that as we were walking a narrow overgrown ledge Issy stepped off trail but somehow found the strength to lunge upward back onto the trail. I was leading him so I only heard his scramble and prayed he would be able to save himself. Emily said it was one of the most serious incidents she had seen....I still shudder as I write this. On the PCT you cannot be complacent.
At Lolo Pass we met Leif and John (part of a trail crew) who drove us down the road to get water for the horses since it was a long walk and in the morning they helped pack Chaco! Trail Angels!
Issy and me at Indian Mountain trail marker. Shortly down the trail we arrived at Indian Springs Campground which we shared with a work group and many other hikers. The camp is so spread out that we never knew they were there.
The following day we covered 15 PCT miles then a few more to get to Herman Creek at Cascade Locks. The trail became steep and narrow switchbacking out on dangerous points and decending into the Columbia River Gorge. The side trail to Herman Creek was a wonderful reprive with wide tread and a lovely bridge. Our trip with Emily ended at Herman Creek Campgrounds where my rig was so Issy and Rusty were able to have the portable pens.
Karen and I were to travel to Panther Creek and see if we could continue on from there, but it wasn't to be as there was too much dead fall and the trails there hadn't been cleared for a year.
The Pacific Crest Trail adventure was over for the year and we hoped we could come back in 2012 to finish!